Kolkata, Apr 23: An estimated 85.32 per cent of the electorate today exercised their franchise in the second phase of assembly poll in 50 constituencies in three districts of West Bengal which was entirely peaceful.
Prominent candidates whose fate were decided are Abhijit Mukherjee, son of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, contesting from Nalhati, former high court judge Nure Alam Chowdhury, a Trinamool Congress candidate contesting from Murarai, Rukbanur Rahman, brother of late computer graphics teacher Rizwanur Rahman from Chapra constituency, besides Panchayat minister and CPI(M) leader Anisur Rahman.
Defying the party's warning, four rebel Congress candidates backed by party Murshidabad MP Adhir Chowdhury, contested as indepedents in the district and an equal number of dissidents were in the fray in Nadia. All of them have been suspended by the party.
State Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said Birbhum registered 85.48 per cent, Nadia 85.55 per cent and Murshidabad 84.86 per cent votes.
The first phase of polling on April 18 had recorded 83.75 per cent voting in 54 constituencies in six North Bengal districts.
Briefing reporters in Delhi, Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi said “today's polling has gone off very peacefully. There was no untoward incident and almost incident-free,” he said.
Zutshi said people boycotted polling in 16 polling booths on developmental issues.
The state CEO said three persons were arrested on the charge of intimidating voters while three presiding officers were replaced at Jalangi in Murshidabad and two in Ranaghat (south) constituencies in Nadia district for trying to influence voters.
An election agent of CPI(M) was detained for interrogation at Palasipara in Nadia district after postal ballots were recovered from him.
Gupta said Dipak Barua, an ASI who was a sector officer of Beldanga constituency, died during polling.
Poll boycott was reported from 17 areas in Nadia and Murshidabad districts mainly on local issues, he said.
Ninety-one EVMs were replaced due to technical problems, of which 65 were removed before polling began.
Webcasting was done in 150 booths in all the three districts.
BJP fielded candidates in all seats, followed by CPI(M) in 31, Trinamool Congress in 29, BSP in 27 and Congress in 21 seats.
The third phase of polling in 75 constituencies in Kolkata, North and South 24-Parganas districts will be held on April 27. PTI