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75% vote in West Bengal civic polls

Kolkata Bureau

Reports of trouble from a few districts; results are to be announced on June 2

Photos: Sushanta Patronobish & PTI

CRUCIAL contest: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee comes out of a polling booth after casting his vote for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election in Kolkata on Sunday.

KOLKATA: Barring stray incidents of violence, elections to 81 civic bodies across West Bengal, including that to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), passed off peacefully on Sunday.

The average turnout, involving a total electorate of more than 85 lakhs, was nearly 75 per cent. It was marginally higher in the districts than in the KMC area.

The results are to be announced on June 2.

Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure smooth polling, with 48 companies of Central forces being drafted for poll duty, as were another 20 from different States to supplement the police.

While there were reports of trouble from a few districts, the State police announced that an executive inquiry will be held into firing by a policeman of the Tripura State Rifles in which a man was severely injured in the Patuli area in the south-eastern fringe of the city.



Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee shows the victory sign after casting

In all, 72 persons were arrested in districts and here for disorderly conduct, the police said.

“We received reports of violence from Jamuria in Bardhaman district where some miscreants smashed an electronic voting machine (EVM) and from the Patuli locality under the KMC area, where a security staff allegedly fired at a person following an altercation,” State Election Commissioner Mira Pande said.

Re-polling may take place on June 1 in three booths in the KMC area and a final decision in this regard would be taken on Monday, she said.

There were reports of violence in Hooghly district also, the police said.

Technical snags in EVMs in certain booths slowed down the pace of polling.

The elections are crucial as they come ahead of the Assembly polls next year.

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