Over 84 percent voter turnout in Bengal first phase polls: EC

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Kolkata, April 6 (IANS) The Election Commission on Wednesday said over 84 percent voters turned out to cast their ballots in 18 constituencies in the first phase of the West Bengal assembly polls on April 4.

Among the 18 seats — nine in Purulia, three in Bankura and six in West Medinipur — across three districts, Salboni constituency topped the list with the maximum voter turnout of 90.18 percent.

Purulia constituency had the lowest voter turnout of 79.76 percent.

According to the Election Commission report, voter turnout in the nine constituencies in Purulia was comparatively less than in Bankura and Paschim Medinipur.

Regarding the next date of polls in 31 constituencies to be conducted in April 11, the Election Commission on Wednesday said more than 69 lakh (69,90,900) voters across 8,465 polling stations would decide the fate of 163 candidates.

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In the third phase, among 62 constituencies spread across Murshidabad, Nadia and Kolkata-North, 421 nominations have been filed till Tuesday, and two of them were rejected, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said.

He said 138 nominations as on Tuesday were filed in 49 constituencies in 24 Parganas (North) and Howrah districts for the fourth phase, and 37 nominations were filed for 53 seats in 24 Parganas (South), Hooghly and Kolkata-South for the fifth phase.

Asked about Trinamool Congress candidate and Saradha scam accused Madan Mitra’s plea before the Election Commission for parole to campaign in the polls, he said: “The question of parole does not arise. Parole is considered for a convicted, he is not. He is an accused… this does not apply to him.”

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Sarkar also said complaints were received against Trinamool candidate Sabyasachi Dutta about his alleged links with the syndicate mafia. The complaints have been forwarded to the Election Commission of India.

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