Birbhum: West Bengal on Sunday recorded 79.70 per cent voting in the second phase of assembly polls in 56 constituencies which the Election Commission said was 'by and large' peaceful, barring a clash between workers of rival political parties.
The Commission said the final figure would increase as the poll percentage was based on text messages sent by polling officials from the state to Commission headquarters here at 5 pm.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena told a press conference that the polling percentage in the 56 assembly constituencies which went to poll Sunday was 86.51 per cent in 2011 assembly elections and 82.70 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
There were no poll violence-related deaths but a polling officer, Gopi Chakravarty, died of heart attack in Alipurduar constituency.
"There were reports of disruption of polling due to EVM errors. The EVMs were replaced quickly... in the beginning hours, near polling station 78 of Bolpur constituency, there was a clash between (workers of) two parties in which three people were hurt," the Deputy EC said.
In another incident, a presiding officer of a polling station was replaced and disciplinary proceedings initiated after he was found helping a voter near a voting compartment.
In the run up to the second phase of elections, authorities executed 15,623 non-bailable warrants to keep trouble-makers under check. Similarly, over 5000 people were kept under watch to ensure they did not influence voters.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all voters to turn out in large numbers.
"As Phase II of the West Bengal polls begins, I urge all those voting today to turnout in record numbers & vote," he tweeted.
As Phase II of the West Bengal polls begins, I urge all those voting today to turnout in record numbers & vote.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2016
383 candidates including 33 women are in the fray for the 56 seats spread in seven districts.
About one crore 21 lakh people are enrolled for the second round of polling to vote for five constituencies in Alipurduar, seven in Jalpaiguri, six in Darjeeling, nine in Uttar Dinajpur, six in Dakshin Dinajpur, 12 in Malda and 11 in Birbhum districts.
More than 13 thousand 600 polling stations have been put up including 311 model booths.
Meanwhile, despite the heavy security deployed in the region, clashes broke out between different party workers here today in which at least three people were injured.
A violent scuffle broke out between Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Bharatiya Janata Party workers near a polling station in Birbhum....