News Frontliner Web Desk, 29 April 2019: Eight Lok Sabha constituencies spread across five districts of West Bengal went into poll, in the fourth phase. Though sporadic incidents of violence were reported from several parts of the state that went into poll today, but there has been no report of casualties.
There has been unprecedented security arrangements with the deployment of 561 companies of security forces and 88 companies of quick response teams for the eight Lok sabha seats that made their choice for the 17th Lok Sabha.
According to the Election Commission report, voter turnout in Birbhum has been 76.69%, in Asansol 73.64%, in Baharampur 76.16%, in Bolpur 77.95%, in Ranaghat 78.33%, in Krishnanagar 76.55%, in Bardhaman-Durgapur 76.29% and in Bardhaman Purba 77.49 %.
In 4th phase voter turnout for Bengal has been 76.66%, which is the highest among all the state that went into poll today.
Violence was reported from Bandar in Nanoor area of Birbhum district as BJP supporters clashed with Trinamool Congress men. Vegetables just before being cooked, puffed rice, cylinders, a cooking stove lay scattered on ground bearing signs of violence at a makeshift Trinamool office at Bandar village.
At Dubrajpur in Birbhum, a central armed police force officer allegedly fired a few shots in the air during an altercation he had with locals who surrounded him.
Clashes were also reported from Nalhati and there were allegations of intimidation of voters at Rampurhat in the district.
At Asansol, BJP candidate and Union Minister Babul Supriyo was seen arguing inside a polling booth. He alleged that agents of his party were driven out of polling booths. The vehicle of the MP was also vandalized.
There were reports of locals protesting at a polling booth in Jemua village under Asansol constituency demanding deployment of central forces there. Police had to lathicharge so as to disperse the agitating villagers. Polling started later and went on peacefully.
There were several reports of intimidation by Trinamool supporters in Durgapur Purba and Durgapur Paschim assembly segment under Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok sabha constituency. Polling agents of the CPI(M) were threatened and forcefully driven out but Trinamool goons at some of the polling booths; however in most cases, police force acted sharply so as to restore normalcy.
In Nadia district, there were reports of violence at certain polling booths at Palashipara. Bahrampur Congress candidate Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also alleged electoral malpractices in the heart of Bahrampur town.
Amidst all this, West Bengal voters turning out in large number speaks highly of the political consciousness among the Bengalis.