At least 79.09 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in 43 assembly constituencies of West Bengal where voting was held for the sixth phase on Thursday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab said. 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.
"Polling was by and large peaceful today, apart from a few incidents of violence," a senior official of the CEOs office said. Among the four districts, Nadia registered the highest voter turnout of 82.67 per cent, followed by Purba Bardhaman (82.15 per cent), Uttar Dinajpur (77.76 per cent) and North 24 Parganas (75.94 per cent), Aftab added. The Election Commission has deployed 1,071 companies of central forces for the sixth phase. The state will witness two more phases of polling onApril 26 and 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
West Bengal Elections 2021 Phase 6 | Highlights
7:00 PM: Polling in sixth phase conlcudes.
Polling concludes in the sixth phase of assembly election.
6:10 PM: A total of 79.04% voter turnout has been recoreded till 5:30 pm in phase 6 polling.
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4:00 PM: Voter turnout so far
As polling for the sixth phase continues, Bengal has recorded 70.42% voter turnout till 3:40 pm.
3:30 PM: Mamata addresses rally in Dakshin Dinajpur
"I am not a player, but I know how to play. I was the best player in the Lok Sabha earlier. We cannot surrender our Bengal to two goons of Delhi," West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Dakshin Dinajpur.
1:50 PM: West Bengal elections phase 6
57.30 per cent voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in 43 seats where polling is underway in sixth phase.
1:20 PM: Bombs hurled at local BJP leader's residence in Halisahar
In the Halisahar area of Naihati constituency, the saffron party alleged that bombs were hurled at the residence of a local BJP leader. His mother and younger brother are known to have suffered injuries. The TMC and the BJP traded charges against each other. Film director-turned-TMC candidate Raj Chakraborty was gheraoed in Barrackpore constituency by BJP supporters, who accused him of influencing voters. Chakraborty denied the allegations.
Sporadic violence was also reported from Bijpur constituency in North 24 Parganas, where TMC and BJP supporters clashed with each other outside polling booths. Both the parties accused each other of trying to rig votes. Two supporters of the TMC and three of the BJP were reportedly injured in the clashes. A huge contingent of security forces was rushed to the troubled areas to control the situation.
11:40 am: BJP, TMC workers clash in Uttar Dinajpur
In Uttar Dinajpur's Chopra area, shots were reportedly fired after clashes broke out between activists of the TMC and the BJP over allegations of heckling by agents of a polling booth. Both the parties denied having used any firearm and blamed the opposition for the violence. The office of the CEO has sought a report on the incident from the local administration.
11 am: 37% voter turnout recorded till 11 am
37.27 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, an EC official told PTI. Elections, which began at 7 am, are being held in 43 assembly seats -- 17 in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur, and eight in Purba Bardhaman.
10:15 am: Voting underway at 14,480 polling stations
The voting is being held in 14,480 polling stations in the 43 assembly segments in the four districts. Polling will continue till 6.30 pm. Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are being held in eight phases, starting on March 27. Votes will be counted on May 2 with the last phase scheduled to be held on April 29.
9:45 am: 15 per cent voter turnout recorded till 9 am
9:20 am: 1,071 companies of central forces deployed
A staggering 1,071 companies of central forces have been deployed in this phase to ensure free and fair voting. Each company of central force has around 100 personnel and officers.
9 am Bengal polls sixth phase: BJP candidate from Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur, Krishna Kalyani cast his vote at booth number 134.
8:45 am: Voting is underway at booth number 134 - at Raiganj Coronation High School - in Uttar Dinajpur. The voting could not begin on time here at 7 am, due to technical issues.
8:40 am: PM Modi urges voters to exercise their franchise as 6th phase of Bengal polls begins
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged eligible voters in West Bengal to exercise their franchise as the sixth phase of assembly polls got underway in the state. "The people of West Bengal are voting to elect a new assembly. On the sixth phase today, urging those whose seats are polling to exercise their franchise," he tweeted.
8:20 am: Matuas hold the key in 6th phase
Both the TMC and the BJP have pitched hard to gain the confidence of Matuas, who make for a large chunk of the state's Scheduled Caste population, in most of the 17 assembly segments going to polls in this phase in North 24 Parganas district and some of the nine seats in Nadia.
8 am: Long queues outside polling booths
Long queues were seen outside most of the polling booths even before the voting began. In this phase, elections are being held in 17 seats in the North 24 Parganas district and nine seats in Nadia -- most of which has a significant presence of the Matuas, who are crucial to the electoral success of any party in the state.
07:26 am: BJP national vice president Mukul Roy casts his vote
07:09 am: Voting yet to begin at booth number 134 at Raiganj Coronation High School in Uttar Dinajpur due to some technical issues.
07:00 am: Voting for sixth phase on 43 seats begins
06:55 am: Voting for 6th phase to begin shortly
06:45 am: West Bengal: People form queues outside polling station number 205 in Jagatdal constituency.
06: 40 am: West Bengal: Election officials conduct a mock poll at a pink polling booth in Raiganj
06:25 am: West Bengal: Preparations underway at a polling booth in Jagatdal constituency,
06:15 am: Apart from these 43 constituencies, elections will be held in nine seats in Uttar Dinajpur district and eight in Purba Bardhaman.
06:00 am: The Election Commission will deploy 779 companies of central forces for the sixth phase of the election with special emphasis in the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate area as it had witnessed sporadic violence during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.