West Bengal elections: Over 79% turnout in 6th phase; EC imposes stricter curbs for remaining phases | India News

NEW DELHI: Polling for the sixth phase of tightly-contested West Bengal polls was held on Thursday. At least 79.09% voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in 43 assembly constituencies of the state.
Polling was held between 7 am and 6.30 pm at 14,480 polling stations in 17 assembly constituencies in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur districts and eight in Purba Bardhaman district.

An election worker checks the body temperature of a voter at a polling station during the sixth phase of West Bengal assembly elections. (AFP photo)
Among the four districts, Nadia registered the highest voter turnout of 82.67%, followed by Purba Bardhaman (82.15%), Uttar Dinajpur (77.76%) and North 24 Parganas (75.94%), a senior official of the CEOs office said.
Violence mars the sixth phase of Bengal polls
Sporadic incidents of violence marred the sixth phase of polling in the state.
A huge mob of about 250 people attacked security personnel outside a booth at Bagda in North 24 Parganas. A huge police contingent was rushed to the spot to control the situation.
In another incident, clashes broke out in Ashoknagar between rivals TMC and BJP activists during which bombs were hurled.
PM Modi calls off campaign, to address voters virtually
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called off his Friday’s visit to West Bengal as he will chair high-level meetings in Delhi amid an unprecedented Covid crisis in India.
“Tomorrow, will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing Covid-19 situation. Due to that, I would not be going to West Bengal,” Modi tweeted.

Elections are under way in West Bengal where PM Modi was slated to hold a rally ahead of the seventh phase polling on April 26.
After this, no further political meetings of the Prime Minister are scheduled in West Bengal, which will effectively end his campaign in the state as of now.
However, PM Modi will address the four prescheduled rallies in West Bengal tomorrow virtually.
Election Commission bans roadshows, vehicle rallies in West Bengal
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday imposed stricter curbs in view of the remaining phases of polling in the state.
The EC banned road shows and vehicle rallies in West Bengal with immediate effect and said no public meeting having more than 500 people would be allowed.
The order said the commission has noted “with anguish” that many political parties and candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during the public gatherings.

West Bengal CM cancels all scheduled meetings
Following EC’s order, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also put curtains to all her prescheduled meetings amid rise in Covid cases in the state.

Security personnel stand guard as voters stand in a queue to cast their vote during the sixth phase of polling in West Bengal. (ANI photo)
As many as 306 candidates, including 27 women, were in the fray in this phase of polling. The EC deployed 1,071 companies of central forces for the sixth phase of polling.
Polling for the seventh and eighth phases will be held on April 26 and 29 respectively while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
(With agency inputs)

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