West Bengal polls: 83% votes cast in penultimate phase

Amid tight security, polling was held in 38 constituencies spread over 4 districts.

Last Updated: May 08, 2011, 08:58 AM IST

Kolkata: At least 83 percent voting was recorded in 38 constituencies that went to the polls Saturday in the fifth round of West Bengal Assembly elections, an Election Commission (EC) official said.

"The percentage is likely to increase as people are in queues at several booths," the official said. The polling started at 7 am and ended at 5 pm.

Over 7.4 million people were eligible to vote in 38 constituencies spread over parts of Burdwan and Maoist-affected West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts.

Polling will decide the fate of 193 candidates in 12 constituencies seats of West Midnapore, five in Purulia, nine in Bankura, and 12 in Burdwan districts.

Two helicopters carried out aerial surveillance in the forested areas and remote corners of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, while around 550-600 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed on ground.

Among the political heavyweights in the fray are state Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra (Narayangarh of West Mindapore district) and state Congress president Manas Bhuniya (Sabong of West Midnapore).

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is contesting 32 seats, the Communist Party of India (CPI) one, Forward Bloc three, the Trinamool Congress 33, the Congress five and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 38.