Kolkata: The first phase of the panchayat elections in West Bengal covering three junglemahal districts passed off, by and large, peacefully on Thursday with a voter turnout of 70 per cent amidst tight security and surveillance by helicopters.
"The election has been more or less peaceful. There have been some stray incidents of violence. There are a few complaints of booth jamming and booth capturing. We are looking into those complaints," State Election Commission Secretary Tapas Ray told reporters.
SEC sources said that around 70 per cent polling was recorded till 5:00 pm, with long queues before some booths.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed satisfaction over the peaceful polling in the first phase in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, a former Maoist stronghold.
"The voting process has been totally peaceful. The people have rejected the politics of violence perpetuated by Maoists and the CPI(M)," Banerjee said.
The police said 11 people were injured in a clash between Trinamool Congress and Congress workers at Sabong in West Midnapore district.
The injured included a TMC gram panchayat candidate. Five of the injured were taken to the Midnapore Sadar Hospital, the police said.
Leader of the Opposition leader and CPI(M) politburo member Surya Kanta Mishra was involved in an altercation with local Trinamool Congress supporters outside a polling booth at Khadurdah Gram Panchayat area in West Midnapore district.