West Bengal polls -- phase 6: Coochbehar votes for first time; voter turnout 84%

Residents of Coochbehar cast vote for first time since Independence

Kolkata: Over 84 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in the sixth and final phase of assembly elections in West Bengal.

Erstwhile Bangladeshi enclave dwellers wait in a long queue to cast their votes for the first time at a polling station during the final phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in Coochbehar. Pic/PTI
Erstwhile Bangladeshi enclave dwellers wait in a long queue to cast their votes for the first time at a polling station during the final phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in Coochbehar. Pic/PTI

Interestingly, of the 9,776 voters from the enclaves India had exchanged with Bangla-desh, 90 per cent exercised their franchise as Indian citizens for the first time since Independence, the Election Commission said
yesterday.

The poll panel said barring a few sporadic incidents, the elections in the 25 assembly constituencies went off peacefully.

Sandeep Saxena, deputy election commissioner, in-charge of WB, told reporters that till 5 pm, 84.25 per cent of the voters had exercised their franchise. He, however, said the final figures would be available by tomorrow [Friday].

'Havoc created'
Hitting out at the opposition and the Centre for creating ‘an emergency-like situation’ during the Assembly poll, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee yesterday said she felt ‘ashamed’ to witness the ‘most scandalous and malicious’ poll campaign in the history of Bengal politics. “The Central forces have created a havoc. In the name of conducting polls they have created an emergency-like situation. They have stopped voters, heckled handicapped voters, misbehaved with candidates of our parties. We have never witnessed such a scenario in Bengal.”

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Claiming that people of West Bengal have already sealed the fate of TMC, CPI (M) state Secretary Surya Kanta Mishra tonight said running a coalition government with the Congress won’t be a problem as both parties have experience of running the administration. He said, “The TMC has declared a battle against the people of the state. That is why people’s alliance was forged with Left, Congress, RJD, JD (U) coming together on one platform. The people of Bengal have already sealed the fate of TMC.”

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