76.16% voter turnout registered in the fourth phase of the West Bengal polls: key points | India News
A total of 373 candidates competed for 44 constituencies in five districts: Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah. Out of 373 candidates, 323 candidates were men and 50 candidates were women.
Voting took place from 7 am to 6:30 pm on 15,940 ballots in nine assembly constituencies in Howrah, 11 in South 24 Parganas, five in Alipurduar, nine in Cooch Behar and ten in Hooghly district.
The highest turnout of 79.73% was recorded in the Cooch Behar district, followed by 76.2% of the surveys in Hoogly. In South 24 Parganas it was 75.49%, while in Howrah it was 75.03% and in Alipurduar it was 73.65%, said a senior official in the CEO’s office.
Female voters dominated this phase, as out of a total of 1,15,094,950 voters, 58,95,871 voters were men and 56,98,789 voters were women, while 290 were of other genders.
Here are the main developments:
Four dead when central forces open fire after being attacked
Four people were killed when central forces allegedly opened fire after being attacked by locals, who “tried to seize their rifles”, in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal on Saturday, police said.
The incident took place in the Sitalkuchi area when voting was in progress, a senior district police officer said.
Clashes broke out between TMC and BJP activists in the Mathabhanga area of Sitalkuchi as the vote was taking place, a source said.
The EC orders the suspension of the ballot boxes in the electoral college number 126 of Sitalkuchi
The Electoral Commission (EC) ordered the suspension of the polls on Saturday at the 126th electoral college in West Bengal’s Sitalkuchi assembly constituency amid reports of violence.
A spokesperson for the voting panel said the decision was based on an interim report submitted by special observers.
Voting was suspended at Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra (polling place number 126) of the Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency.
A replay will be ordered in the coming days according to established procedure, a source said.
18-year-old voter shot dead
In a shocking incident, an 18-year-old voter, Ananda Barman, was allegedly shot dead by criminals in front of booth number 85 in the Pathantuli area after clashes broke out between activists of the ruling TMC and the BJP.
The culprits, who have not yet been identified, managed to flee, authorities said.
The incident sparked violence in the area when bombs were dropped, prompting central forces to carry truncheons to control the situation, police said.
Both the TMC and the BJP claimed that Barman belonged to their party, but his family members said he was an activist for the saffron party.
“We have received information about a person who was shot outside a voting booth at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar. We have requested a report from the micro-observer,” said an official from the Election Commission of India (EC).
Mamata questions the self-defense version of the central forces, orders CID Investigation
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the firing at Cooch Behar was part of a larger conspiracy with other TMC leaders, adding that Prime Minister Modi cannot be ruled out.
CM Mamata also questioned the central forces’ version of shooting at voters in self-defense in Cooch Behar and said his government will launch a CID investigation into the incident.
Banerjee said there is no video footage or other evidence to support the central forces’ claims.
Banerjee reiterated his demand for the resignation of the Union Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah, over the incident of dismissal in Cooch Behar, and wondered whose “direct interference in the functioning of the Election Commission and the central forces” led to the excesses.
Modi mourns death in CISF Dismissal in Cooch Behar, blames TMC for violence
Condoning the death of our people by shooting by central forces in Cooch Behar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called on the Election Commission to crack down on those responsible for the incident and blamed the ruling TMC for perpetrating violence during the elections.
He also accused Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee of instigating the people against the central forces.
“What happened in Cooch Behar is regrettable and sad. I extend my condolences to the bereaved families and urge the Electoral Commission to crack down on those responsible for the incident.
“Mamata Didi and her TMC thugs have become nervous because of the surge in support for the BJP,” Modi told an election rally here in North Bengal.
Prashant Kishor: BJP will not cross 100 seats in Bengal
Trinamool Congressional (TMC) polling strategist Prashant Kishor reacted to his leaked audio chat ‘Club House room’, reiterating on Saturday that the BJP will not cross 100 seats in the West Bengal assembly elections, adding that the BJP must show courage by sharing the chat rather than a selective part.
Glad BJP is taking my chat more seriously than the words of their own leaders! 😊 They must show courage and share… https://t.co/L8Zc4PhVtE
– Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) 1618030872000
An audio chat from the ‘clubhouse room’ involving Prashant Kishor and some journalists was leaked on social media.
“There is no anti-concern against Modi. Modi has become a cult in the country. Modi is popular in Bengal. Hindi-speaking people are the main support base for BJP in Bengal. Modi is very popular here. Modi and Mamata are equally popular in Bengal, “Kishore said in that conversation.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission ordered the Union Ministry of the Interior to deploy 71 additional companies of the Central Armed Police forces in West Bengal for the conduct of the remaining four phases of the elections.
Voting for the next phase will take place on April 17. While the result of the 44 seats will be declared along with another 250 from the state on May 2.