Polling begins in West Bengal

November 7th, 2009 - 10:16 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 7 (IANS) Polling began peacefully for by-elections to 10 West Bengal assembly seats Saturday amid heightened security, an official said.
Long queues were seen in front of various polling booths as enthusiastic voters, including women, lined up to cast their franchise.

No untoward incident has been reported so far, a police officer said soon after polling started at 8 a.m. It will continue till 5 p.m.

Around 40 companies of paramilitary forces and state armed police have been deployed to maintain security across all 10 constituencies - Bealgachia (East), Kalchini (ST), Rajganj (SC), Sujapur, Goalpokhar, Bongaon, Contai South, Egra, Serampore and Alipore.

In view of the surcharged political atmosphere in the state, the election commission has decided to post paramilitary personnel in all the booths of the 10 constituencies.

Close circuit cameras have also been installed in some sensitive booths to monitor the situation during the polling process.

Nine seats fell vacant as the sitting MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha, while CPI-M’s popular leader Subhas Chakraborty’s death necessitated by-polls to the Belgachia (East) constituency.

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

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