Nearly 62% votes were cast till 1 PM in West Bengal, where polling is underway in six Lok Sabha constituencies in the fourth of the five-phase election in the state to decide the fate of 72 candidates.
"On an average, 61.6% of the total 88,77,071 voters have cast their votes in the first six hours of polling in the six constituencies of Jhargram, Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur and Asansol," the OSD in CEO's office Amit Roy Chowdhury said here.
Barring replacement of 17 EVMs during mock polling and thereafter due to malfunctioning in a number of booths, voting is peaceful except for some stray incidents, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil 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.
In a major move, the Election Commission has stepped up security arrangements for Jangalmahal, formerly a stronghold area of the Maoists, during today's poll with deployment of adequate central forces in and around all polling stations.
"Standard Operating Procedure of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is being followed strictly for the entire Fourth phase with priority to the left-wing extremist (LWE) areas," the CEO said.
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.