Kolkata: A total 78.3 per cent votes were cast during peaceful polling on Wednesday in the crucial third phase
of the West Bengal Assembly elections in 75 Assembly
constituencies in three districts.
The fate of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,
Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, Housing Minister Goutam Deb,
Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu and nine other ministers was
sealed in EVMs.
Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee, Kolkata
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, former FICCI Secretary General Amit
Mitra and cinestar Debashree Roy were the other prominent
candidates who contested in this phase.
With three phases, election was completed in 179 of
the 294 Assembly seats.
The chief minister cast his vote at the Patha Bhavan
School in Ballygunge, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee
at the Mitra Institution in Bhowanipore and Union Finance
minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Kamala Girl`s High School in
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee exercised
his franchise at the Tirthabati Institution in south Kolkata,
CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat at Taratola and former
India captain Sourav Ganguly at Behala.
The polling percentage might rise as reports from
remote areas of South and North 24 Parganas districts were
still awaited, the state`s chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta
told reporters here.
He said polling was 82.6 per cent in South 24 Parganas
district, 80 per cent in North 24 Parganas districts,
while Kolkata (south) registered 63.5 per cent and Kolkata
(north) 61.6 per cent.
Except for some stray incidents, polling was, by and
large peaceful, he said.
The CEO said that three presiding officers and five
polling officers were replaced in north Kolkata for flouting
Additional CEO N K Sahana said that 16 presiding
officers were replaced following complaints from Bagda,
Bongaon, Gaighata and Bidhannagar in North 24-Parganas
Malfunctioning of EVMs was reported from a few places
which were promptly replaced, the CEO said.
Gupta said that police recovered four live crude bombs
from a mango orchard at Barasat in North 24 Parganas district.
The Trinamool Congress chief alleged that there were
attempts at rigging by the CPI-M in some booths in the
Jadavpur Assembly constituency of the chief minister and said
the Election Commission had been informed.
She alleged that central para-military forces were
rendered idle and the police asked to do their duty, slowing
the polling process `at the instruction of the chief
Reports from North 24 Parganas, quoting the police,
said that a CPI(M) office at Bijpur under North 24-Parganas
district was ransacked by miscreants and a CPI(M) polling
agent injured outside a booth there. Altogether 50 arrests
One person was arrested from Panihati for false
voting and another from Jagaddal for causing disturbance,
the reports said.
Altogether 610 companies of central forces were
deployed in the three districts where polling was held.
The percentage of the first phase of polling in 54
seats on April 18 was 83.75 and in the second on April 23 in
56 seats 83 per cent.