West Bengal Assembly Election Phase 5 Voting Live Updates: Trinamool Congress has written to the Election Commission accusing the BJP of illegally taping the phone of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It urged the EC to take suitable action against the BJP over the issue. Earlier, the BJP had released an audio in which Banerjee could be heard asking TMC’s Cooch Behar leader to carry out rally with the dead bodies of those killed in CISF firing. On the other hand, the BJP today met the Election Commission over the purported audio seeking action against the CM. “As far as the authenticity of the tape is concerned, Derek O’Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy confirmed it in a conversation with media. The only goal of the tape was to create further polarisation,” said Shishir Bajoria of BJP after meeting Election Commission in Kolkata. The party has urged the Election Commission to examine the issue immediately and constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for carrying out a detailed investigation in this regard.
Over 78 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 5.30 pm in the fifth phase of polls which is being held amid tight security arrangements in West Bengal after the Cooch Behar incident. Security measures have been heightened for phase five in view of the violence in the previous phase, which witnessed the death of five people in Cooch Behar, including four in CISF firing. The Election Commission has deployed at least 853 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting. The polling began at 7 am and will conclude at 6 pm. There are 342 candidates in the fray for the Phase-V polls. Over one crore voters will decide the political fate of 342 candidates in the fifth phase of polls. Voting will be held at 15,789 polling stations in the 45 constituencies. Prominent names include Siliguri Mayor and Left Front leader Ashok Bhattacharya, state ministers Gautam Deb and Bratya Basu and BJP’s Samik Bhattacharya. Of the 45 constituencies going to polls, 16 seats in North 24 Parganas, eight in Purba Bardhaman, eight in Nadia, seven in Jalpaiguri, five in Darjeeling and one in Kalimpong district.