Nearly 57% votes were cast till 1 PM in West Bengal, where polling is underway in 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in the fifth and final phase election in the state to decide the fate of 188 candidates.
"On an average, 56.38% of the total 2,55,75,744 voters have cast their votes in the first six hours of polling in the 17 constituencies of Berhampore, Krishnagar, Ranaghat, Bongaon, Barrackpore, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata (South), Kolkata (North), Tamluk, Contai and Ghatal," state's Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.
Thirteen persons were injured in a clash between CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress supporters at Haroa in North 24 Parganas district, under Minakha assembly segment of Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency. Barring replacement of some EVMs during mock polling and thereafter due to malfunctioning in a number of booths, voting is peaceful except for some stray incidents, Gupta said.
"We have not yet received report of any major incident regarding disruption of law and order or complaint of booth jamming or violation of the model code of conduct," he said. Security was stepped up for this phase by the Election Commission following pre-poll violence in the last two days. Arrangements have been made for webcasting and live monitoring of sensitive areas where tight security has been provided by central forces.
The number of security personnel deployed for the polls this time is more than double as in the 2011 Assembly election in the state, the CEO said.