Kolkata: The turnout in the first phase of the eight-phase Assembly polls in West Bengal was around 80% till 5 p.m, as per Election Commission sources, the polling was still on till the time of filing this report.
In Assam, around 73% polling was reported till 5 p.m to elect members of the legislative Assembly from 47 segments. Barring reports of some electronic voting machine (EVM) glitches, no major incidents were reported in the North Eastern state.
Sporadic violence and EVM malfunctioning was reported in some areas.
"Till 5 pm, 79.79% polling has been recorded in the state. By and large, elections were held peacefully," an Election Commission official said.
In Shalboni segment, CPI(M) candidate Sushanta Ghosh was heckled in the morning by Trinamool Congress hooligans when he went to oversee the voting in booth number 177 and 178. Mediapersons accompanying him were also injured in the attack. He was saved by his personal security, who forced him into the car and sped off.
Reports of violence and intimidation of voters was also reported in Patashpur of Bhagabanpur Assembly segment, leaving a constable was seriously injured when the police tried to intervene in a clash between BJP and TMC members.
In Keshiary, West Medinipore district, a BJP worker was allegedly beaten up to death by TMC workers.
In Contai South Assembly segment, the car of Shuvendu Adhikari’s brother was badly damaged allegedly by TMC hooligans.
A total of 730 companies of Central police forces were pressed into service in the 30 Assembly segments spanning five districts of West Bengal.
Voting was held in 30 seats - several of them part of the once-Naxal-hit Jangalmahal region. Of the 30 seats that went to polls -- nine are in Purulia, four each in Bankura and Jhargram, six in Paschim Medinipur, and seven in high-stakes Purba Medinipur district.
Purba Medinipur recorded the highest turnout at 82.51%, followed by Jhargram at 80.56%, Paschim Medinipur at 80.12%, Bankura at 79.90% and Purulia at 77.07%.
In Kanthi Dakshin seat of Purba Medinipur district, voters staged protests outside a polling booth over alleged malfunctioning of an electronic voting machine.
The agitators blocked a road outside a polling station at Majna, claiming that the VVPAT slip showed results in favour of a particular party, no matter which outfit they voted for.
(Inputs from PTI)