In a relatively incident-free polling, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election on Sunday saw 52.8 percent polling till 4 p.m., the State Election Commission said.
Going by the turnout in the recent Assembly polls, the polling percentage is a high because then Kolkata had recorded a polling percentage of just a little above 50 per cent. There are still two hours to go and the polling officials are of the opinion that the turnout might touch 70 per cent.
Despite some sporadic incidents, polling was relatively peaceful in the city.
At 9.30 a.m., two bombs were hurled in front of Khanna school that falls under ward no 36 injuring three persons.
Police arrested one person and are hopeful that the rest of the accused will be arrested soon.
Though the BJP alleged that Trinamool Congress was responsible for this but the ruling party hit back, alleging that it was a plan of the opposition only to disrupt the polling process.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Subhankar Sinha Sarkar told media persons that 72 people have been arrested so far for creating disturbance and trying to disrupt the poll process. However, polling has been going on peacefully and there has been no reports of any major incidents, he said.
“We are fully prepared and will take action wherever necessary,” he added.
Asked about the opposition allegation that Congress is trying to scare the voters and the polling agents, party General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee said: “If there is any single proof that any Trinamool supporter has tried to disrupt the polling process, the party will take exemplary action. We will not allow any kind of hooliganism.”
“People have understood the difference between Trinamool Congress and BJP and that is being reflected in the election.”
In the KMC election, 4,048,357 electors — 2,117,840 male and 1,930,444 female will decide the fate of 950 candidates. Voting was held in 4,959 polling stations spanning across 1,676 premises. A total of 25,826 polling personnel including 70 females are engaged in the election.
The SEC had made an extensive security arrangement for ensuring peaceful elections. There was CCTV surveillance in all the polling premises with at least one armed police personnel in a polling premise. The total number of police force deployed was 23,000 that includes 5,000 from the state police. There were be 286 sector mobiles, 72 RT mobiles, 35 Heavy Radio Flying Squad (HRFS),78 Quick Response Team (QRT), 18 special QRT, 6 river patrols, 200 police pickets and 25 checking points.
The SEC had special security arrangements for 1,139 sensitive booths spread across 786 premises on the poll day with special QRT deployment, more deployment of armed police and an officer in the rank of inspector and above will be manning these booths.
According to sources in the SEC, the highest number of sensitive booths (250) are located in Borough VII followed by Borough I (112) and Borough III (100. The lowest number of sensitive booths (22) are located in Borough XIII.