According to the data available till 5 p.m., the four Assembly constituencies in South Kolkata, which went to the polls in the penultimate seventh phase on Monday, experienced a low voter turnout as compared to Lok Sabha elections held in 2019.
According to the latest data available, the four constituencies had an average turnout of around 60 per cent, whereas in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, it was little more than 66 per cent.
Major Trinamool Congress, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool youth wing leader Abhishek Banerjee, state Power Minister Shovondeb Chattopadhayay and Urban Development Minister and former Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Firhad Hakim, exercised their franchise on Monday.
Banerjee, a resident of Harish Chatterjee Street in South Kolkata, exercised her franchise at a polling booth in Mitra Institution school at around 3.50 p.m. Sitting on a wheelchair, she briefly paused before the photojournalists while coming out amid shouts of ‘Didi, Didi’, before boarding her car. She also flashed a victory sign towards the cameras.
However, former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is a resident of Palm Avenue and a voter in the Ballygunje Assembly constituency, failed to cast his vote owing to poor health condition.
Among the four Assembly constituencies in South Kolkata, including Kolkata Port, Rashbehari, Bhowanipore and Ballygunge, Rashbehari recorded the lowest turnout at only 55.9 per cent, down from the 66.9 per cent polling recorded during the 2019 general elections.
Bhowanipur, which used to be the constituency of Chief Minister Banerjee, recorded a turnout of 60 per cent, compared to the 66.8 per cent polling recorded in 2019.
Similarly, Kolkata Port and Ballygunje recorded a voter turnout of 64 per cent and 59.5 per cent, respectively, as against 64.2 per cent and 66.2 per cent polling recorded during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, respectively.
As far as vote share is concerned, Trinamool had an edge over the saffron brigade in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Despite a strong BJP wind in the state that helped the saffron party win 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats, Trinamool was successful in holding back its forte in these four seats in South Kolkata.
The Assembly seat-wise analysis shows that Trinamool’s Mala Roy maintained her lead in three of the four Assembly constituencies. Rashbehari was the only constituency where BJP candidate Chandra Bose was able to win over his Trinamool counterpart.
Though the Election Commission deployed 64 companies of central forces, both the Trinamool and the Congress complained of excesses of forces.
Trinamool candidate from Rashbehari, Debasish Kumar, alleged that he was stopped from entering the polling booth.
Trinamool candidate from Bhowanipore, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, also alleged that central forces stopped him from entering the Sri Sri Academy booth in Chetla.
Congress candidate from Bhowanipore, Ashutosh Chattopadhyay, alleged that he was stopped from entering a polling booth.
Kumar later informed the Election Commission about the matter and the state Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab called up the ADG (Law and Order) and instructed him to do the needful in this regard.