Elections are being held in 30 constituencies, most of which were once in Naxal-affected jungle areas, with tight security in five districts.
The first polling in the eight-phase assembly elections in West Bengal started at 8 am with voters deciding the fate of 191 candidates in 30 constituencies.
More than 733 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their voting right today.
The election, which is being held till 6 pm, is being held under tight security. The EC has deployed about 3,030 agencies of the central forces, protecting 10,26 polling stations in 0611 premises.
Sporadic incidents of violence have been reported
There have been reports of isolated violence in several areas of the state leading to the first round of assembly elections.
A man was found dead in Begumpur area of Keshiaria in West Midnapore district around 3.30 am, police said.
His name is known as Mangal Soren, they said, his body was found outside the house.
The BJP has claimed that Soren was their supporter and that he was killed by the TMC “thugs”, an allegation that was disproved by the ruling party.
Local BJP leader Bablu Baram complained, “The TMC is trying to create tension in the area during the elections so they killed Mangal.”
However, the district administration said in a report to the Election Commission (EC) that there was no link between the death and the election.
Central forces deployed
A large contingent of central forces has been deployed in the area, officials said.
East Midnapore district faced violence as bombs exploded and shots were fired at Satsamal village in Argowal gram panchayat in Bhagwanpur assembly constituency. Two security personnel were injured.
Potashpur Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Deepak Kumar Chakraborty and a Central Army soldier were seriously injured in the incident.
Talking to the news agency Years, Anup Chakraborty, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) district president East Midnapore has accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of spreading terrorism.
“There is a polling station in Argowal area under Bhagwanpur assembly constituency in Patashpur police station. A terrorist factory resides in the booth. This booth cannot function without terror and through this TMC is spreading terror and damaging the surrounding booths.” Dr.
“We want to make it clear that these jihadists are spreading all over the region and are trying to terrorize the people on behalf of the grassroots. It can’t happen, the people have woken up. .
CPI (M) candidate Susanta Gosh was interrogated in the Salbani area of the same district and TMC supporters threw stones at her car, police said.
Witnesses said some TMC supporters surrounded him and helped him as soon as he reached the Salbani market, after which they also attacked his car, eyewitnesses said.
Police personnel posted in the area rescued him and took him away safely.
Ghosh, a former minister in the Left Front government, said, “This is an attack on democracy. This is the reign of the jungle.”
Some journalists reporting on the attack were also killed.
An EC official said three people had been arrested in connection with the incident and a report had been sought from the district administration.
TMC has denied any involvement.
Earlier, Ghosh also got into a fight with TMC leaders at a booth in the area, alleging that a CPI (M) polling agent had been removed from there.
In the early days, long queues outside most of the booths saw people rushing out to escape the scorching heat, with the uncertainty of being able to vote in the face of day-to-day violence.
EC officials said 14.28% of voters had been recorded by 9am.
CM Banerjee called on the people to exercise their democratic rights
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called on the people of the state to come out and exercise their democratic rights with a huge turnout.
So far, 107 EVMs have been declared ineffective, an EC official said.
“Forty-seven EVMs have been recovered by our sector officials and the rest are being rendered,” he said.
The Trinamool Congress has said that a party delegation will meet EC officials at 12 pm to fix EVMs in several booths.
Voters in the Kanthi South constituency in East Midnapore protested outside a polling station over the issue.
A team of central forces was deployed at the scene to control the situation, EC officials said.
In the resurgent coronavirus, most voters and political party workers were seen without masks. Voter masks were provided in some booths, but Santisar and polythene gloves were found in most places.
Candidates from different political parties have been spotted visiting some booths to encourage different polling agents and reach out to voters at the last minute.
“So far the overall situation has been peaceful,” the EC official said.
Patsapur Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Deepak Chakraborty and paramilitary personnel were injured in the bombing while they were patrolling the area on Friday night.
They are being treated at Igra Hospital and their condition is said to be stable.