53% turnout in second phase of WB polls so far

An electorate of 93.33 lakh will decide the fate of 293 candidates in West Bengal today.

Kolkata: Fifty-three percent polling was
recorded till 2.00 pm during voting in 50 Assembly constituencies
spread over three districts of West Bengal on Saturday.

Birbhum district recorded the highest turnout at 54
percent, closely followed by Nadia with 53 percent and
Murshidabad with 52 percent.

"Polling was 53 percent till 2:00 pm. Polling was
more or less peaceful," Election Commission office sources
said here.

Two presiding officers were removed following
allegation of influencing voters and an election agent of
CPI(M) detained for interrogation after postal ballots were
recovered from him, the sources said here.

The presiding officer of booth number 2 of Bharatpur
Assembly constituency in Murshidabad and a presiding officer
of booth number 101 in Ranaghat (South) constituency in Nadia
district were removed and replaced by new presiding officers,
Additional Chief Electoral Officer NK Sahana said.

A CPI(M) election agent in Palashipara Assembly
constituency in Nadia district was detained by the police
after 25 postal ballot papers were recovered from him, an
Election Commission official said.

An electorate of 93.33 lakh will decide the fate of
293 candidates in the second phase of the polls.

Prominent candidates whose fate will be decided are
Abhijit Mukherjee, son of Union Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee contesting from Nalhati, former High Court judge
Nure Alam Chowdhury, a Trinamool Congress candidate contesting
from Murarai, Rukbanur Rahman, brother of late computer
graphics teacher Rizwanur Rahman from the Chapra constituency,
besides Panchayat minister and CPI(M) leader Anisur Rahaman.

The BJP has fielded candidates in all seats, followed
by CPI(M) in 31, Trinamool Congress in 29, BSP in 27 and
Congress in 21 seats.

Security arrangements are in place for peaceful
polling in 22 constituencies in Murshidabad, 17 in Nadia and
11 in Birbhum having a total of 11,531 polling stations.

Besides the police, 4800 central security personnel
have been deployed.

The six-phase election will end on May 10.


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