Nearly 68% votes were cast till 2 pm in West Bengal, where polling is underway in nine Parliamentary constituencies in the third phase to decide the fate of 87 candidates. "On an average 67.34% of the total 1,39,43,063 voters have cast their votes in the first seven hours of polling in the nine constituencies of Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan (East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum," state Assistant CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said in Kolkata.
A presiding officer was on Wednesday removed from a polling station under Arambagh Parliamentary constituency on charges of biased behaviour. He was immediately replaced so as to keep the election process unaffected, Bhattacharya said.
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, state 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. 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 thepolls this time is more than double of that of the 2011 assembly election in the state, the CEO said.