Kolkata: A heavy turnout of over 78 per cent was registered on Saturday in the fifth and penultimate phase of assembly polls in West Bengal, which saw sporadic incidents of violence that left seven people injured.
Young girls take a selfie after casting their votes at a polling station during the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in Kolkata on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Voter turnout of 78.98 per cent was recorded from Hooghly district, 79.69 per cent in South 24 Parganas while Kolkata South the lowest turnout of 63.10 per cent.
In South 24 Parganas, six persons were injured in poll violence while one injury was reported from Hooghly. Four RSP workers were injured in a clash with TMC supporters at a booth at Bhangonkhali village in Basanti constituency after TMC activists allegedly prevented them from casting votes, a police officer said.
Meanwhile, in Rashbehari assembly constituency of south Kolkata, Riya Sarkar became the first transgender presiding officer of a booth in South City International School. A number of heavyweights including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are in the fray in this phase. Altogether 349 candidates, including 43 women, are trying their luck in Saturday's election across three districts.
Senior Trinamool Congress ministers also accused central paramilitary forces of misbehaving with voters "in the name of maintaining law and order" and expressed confidence in winning the ongoing Assembly polls in Bengal. "The Central Paramilitary Forces are frisking people without any reason, browbeating voters. We condemn this. But irrespective of such intimidation, we will win the polls," senior TMC leader and state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said.
Temperamental Trinamool Congress candidate and deputy speaker of the West Bengal Assembly Sonali Guha on Saturday landed in a controversy after she was seen giving instructions over phone to "thrash the CPI-M agent". Taking cognisance of the remarks, the Election Commission (EC) ordered a first information report (FIR) against Guha, who is defending her Satgachhia assembly constituency.
TMC leader called Kolkata 'mini Pak': BJP
The BJP has alleged that a state minister and Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim has described a part of Kolkata port area as "mini Pakistan" in an interview to Pakistan daily Dawn and demanded an explanation, even as Hakim denied having made such comment. "How can a minister say such things? We demand an explanation from both Firhad Hakim and Mamata Banerjee," BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said.