– Murshidabad, Nadia and Birbhum which went to polls today witnessed very heavy polling at most of the polling booths
Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told media in New Delhi that polling was peaceful and incident free.
“Today’s polling has gone off very peacefully. There was no untoward incident and almost incident-free”, he said.
Zutshi said people boycotted polling in 16 polling booths on developmental issues.
The authorities made 32 preventive arrests in order to ensure peaceful polling, he said adding cash of Rs 2.7 lakh was recovered from them in Nadia district, he said.
However State Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said, police have arrested three persons in Murshidabad after a clash between Congress and CPIM workers, while one police official died due to illness, while voting was in progress. Three Presiding officers were removed due to dereliction of duties.
Gupta said, 91 Electronic Voting Machines have been replaced due to technical snag. Boycott of votes were also reported from 17 booths, 12 in Murshidabad district and five in Nadia on local issues.
Campaigning for third phase get momentum
Campaigning for the third phase of assembly elections at 75 seats in Kolkata has reached its feverish pitch. Addressing a Congress-Trinamool Congress joint rally at Dumdum in Kolkata, Prime Minister Dr Mnamohan Singh charged the West Bengal Government with failure on all fronts and appealed to the people to vote for change in the ensuing poll.
Dr. Singh said, in 34 years of Left Front rule, not only factories were closed but the condition of tea and tourism industries are in bad shape. Referring to the Sachchar Committee report on status of minorities, he said the conditions of Muslims are worse in West Bengal than in the States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka and Gujarat. The Prime Minister said if voted to power, the Congress-Trinamool alliance will take all sections of people along the path of peace and development and will do its best to restore the past glory of Bengal.
Addressing the rally, senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that there is a sense of frustration among the masses about the misrule of Left Front Government and the people are yearning for change. He said, the culture of political murder, general lawlessness and the backwardness has spread its tentacles in all parts of the state under the Left Front rule.
In her address, Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamta Banerjee blamed the Left Front Government for total bankruptcy saying that financial health of the state is in a very bad shape. Promising to create a new Bengal, she said if voted to power, her Government will create 10 lakh new jobs besides putting the state back on the path of development.
The Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhatacharya organised a road show in Kolkata today to rally support for the Left Front parties. He charged the opposition parties with putting obstacles in development of the State.