Over 65 percent votes cast in West Bengal (Second Lead)

November 7th, 2009 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 7 (IANS) Over 65 percent of voters exercised their franchise in by-polls to 10 assembly seats in West Bengal, an Election Commission official said here.
“Overall, polling was peaceful. Till 5 p.m., 65 percent voted. There are still people in the queue,” state chief electoral officer Debasish Sen told reporters here.

Over 1.9 million people were eligible to cast their votes.

Stray incidents of irregularities and violence were reported in some parts of the state, the official said.

A presiding officer at Sujapur constituency in Malda district was removed for allegedly trying to influence voters at the Bakharpur Primary school booth, he said.

Two people were arrested for casting ‘false votes’ in the Belgachia East constituency on the northeastern fringes of this city.

Around 40 companies of paramilitary forces and state armed police have been deployed in the 10 constituencies - Belgachia (East), Kalchini (ST), Rajganj (SC), Sujapur, Goalpokhar, Bongaon, Contai South, Egra, Serampore and Alipore.

Nine seats fell vacant as the legislators were elected to the Lok Sabha, while the death of popular Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Subhas Chakraborty led to the by-poll in the Belgachia (East) constituency.

The CPI-M and Trinamool Congress are contesting in five and seven seats respectively. The others have been left for the Left Front allies and the Congress.

Around 49 candidates contested the elections.

With the Left fast losing its grip over the state under the assault of the Trinamool-led opposition, the by-polls are being considered a trailer to the 2011 assembly elections.

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