WB polls: 16 p.c. turnout in first two hours

Kolkata: Sixteen per cent polling was recorded in the first two hours of voting in 50 constituencies in three districts of West Bengal on Saturday.

“In the first two hours, polling was 16 per cent. There was no report of any untoward incident so far,” Election Commission office sources said here.

Asked whether the polling percentage was satisfactory, the sources said, “In the first two hours 16 per cent is a good turnout.”

Murshidabad district had the highest turnout at 18 per cent and Birbhum and Nadia districts 16 per cent each, the sources said.

An electorate of 93.33 lakh will decide the fate of 293 candidates.

Prominent candidates whose fate will be 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 the Chapra constituency, besides Panchayat minister and CPI(M) leader Anisur Rahaman.

The BJP has fielded candidates in all seats, followed by CPI(M) in 31, Trinamool Congress in 29, BSP in 27 and Congress in 21 seats.

Security arrangements were in place for peaceful polling in 22 constituencies in Murshidabad, 17 in Nadia and 11 in Birbhum having a total of 11,531 polling stations.

Besides the police, 4800 central security personnel have been deployed.

The six-phase election will end on May 10.