West Bengal Assembly elections: Over 81 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first part of the first phase Assembly poll in West Bengal today, which passed off without any major incident, according to the Election Commission.
Voting took place in 18 constituencies spread over West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia which make up Jangalmahal.
Polling in 13 Left Wing Extremism-affected constituencies ended early at 4 PM while in others it went on till 6 PM.
“We were in a state of anxiety. You know the reason (fears of Maoist violence). But overall there was no major incident or complaint. There was no news of any bandh or poll boycott by the Maoists,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta told reporters here.
Till the last available count, the voter turnout was over 81 per cent.
The Election Commission had received 537 complaints during the polling process, of which 531 were disposed of.
Polling will be held in another 31 seats in the second part of the first phase to be held on April 11.
People came out in large numbers since early morning to exercise their franchise.
Polling began at 7 AM amid tight security. Two choppers conducted regular sorties as part of aerial surveillance. The security ring that was thrown around the polling stations had quick response team, flying squads and sector forces.
Voting was held in 4,945 polling stations out of which 1,962 were classified as ‘critical’ by the EC.
Voter Verifiable Audit Trails (VVAT) system was used in 562 polling stations.
A key candidate in this phase was Tribal Affairs Minister Sukumar Hansda from Jhargram.