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West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE: 80% polling recorded till 6 pm, says ECI

The Phase 1 of polling is expected to witness a tight contest between the saffron party BJP and the ruling TMC

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West Bengal election

West Bengal Assembly election

West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE updates: Voting is underway in the politically volatile state of West Bengal amid a resurgent Covid-19 crisis to decide the fate of a number of top politicians. Elections are being held in 30 seats, most of which are in the once-Naxal-affected Jungle Mahal region, across five districts amid tight security. The 30 seats include all constituencies in Purulia and Jhargram and segments of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee attacked Prime Minister Modi for referencing West Bengal during his visit to Bangladesh and claimed it was a violation of election code of conduct.

Elections are underway here and he (PM) goes to Bangladesh and lectures on Bengal. It is a total violation of code of conduct of the election: West Bengal CM & TMC leader Mamata Banerjee in Kharagpur.

The first phase of polling will decide the electoral fate of 191 candidates including 21 women.

West Bengal has been caught in the throes of violent political clashes between the TMC and BJP supporters which have claimed several lives on both sides.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Stay tunes for West Bengal election LIVE updates
8:57 PM

Over 79% polling in Bengal

As many as 79.79 per cent voters exercised their franchise in ten hours of polling for 30 Assembly seats in West Bengal on Saturday while the voter turnout was around 72.14 per cent in Assam in the same period, according to IANS.
More than half of the 7.3 million electorate in Bengal's 30 Assembly constituencies have cast their ballot and sealed the fate of 191 candidates who are in the fray on the first day of the eight-phase elections in West Bengal where polling is underway in five districts.
8:15 PM

Mamata accuses Modi of speaking at Matua temple with an eye on WB polls

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Matua temple at Orakandi in Bangladesh was with an eye on elections in West Bengal, according to PTI.
The TMC supremo also alleged that Modi violated the model code of conduct through his speech at the temple, holy to the Matua community spread over India and Bangladesh. However, Modi in his speech at the temple had not made any election promises.
6:52 PM

PM urges voters in Bengal, Assam to cast votes in record numbers

5:54 PM

Activists of BJP, TMC clash in Nandigram, three injured

A clash broke out on Saturday between activists of the BJP and the TMC in Purba Medinipur's Nandigram constituency -- which is set to go to polls on April 1 -- leaving at least three persons seriously injured, a senior police officer here said, according to PTI.

Seikh Sufiyan, the election agent of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, however, claimed that goons hired by the BJP carried out an attack on the workers of the state's ruling party, a charge denied by the saffron camp.

5:26 PM

BJP practices politics without principles, pumping money in Bengal to capture power: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday alleged that the BJP practices "politics without principles" and was pumping huge amount of money in West Bengal to capture power in that state, according to PTI.

He also said that Bengal will never go with such "communal and corrupt" political ideology of the BJP.

"BJP is pumping huge money in West Bengal to capture power by hook or by crook as part of politics without principles. People of West Bengal will give them befitting reply by keeping them away from power," Gehlot tweeted.

4:39 PM

Mamata's purported audio clip seeking help from BJP leader to win Nandigram stirs row in Bengal

A huge controversy erupted amid the polling for 30 assembly seats in West Bengal, with the BJP releasing an audio clip where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is purportedly heard cajoling a BJP leader from Nandigram to rejoin the TMC and help her win the seat, according to PTI.
4:17 PM

Confront BJP-hired goons with ladles and spatulas, Mamata tells women in Bengal

Alleging that the BJP was bringing in goons from outside to stop people from exercising their franchise in Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged women to "confront the hoodlums with ladle, spatula" and other cooking utensils, according to PTI.
Addressing two public rallies at Narayangarh and Pingla in West Midnapore district, the TMC boss dubbed bte noire Suvendu Adhikari and his family as "traitors", and claimed that one member of the household was seen distributing money among people on Friday night, hours before 30 assembly constituencies of the state went to polls.
3:57 PM

Mamata Banerjee says will complain to Election Commission over PM's B'desh visit

3:28 PM

Sisir Adhikari, father of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, casts his vote

2:40 PM

TMC delegation asks EC to bring back rule which allowed parties to appoint only locals as poll booth agents

A Trinamool Congress delegation, led by MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay on Saturday urged the Election Commission to bring back the rule which enjoined upon political parties to appoint only people, registered as voters in an assembly segment where an election booth was located, as polling agents for that booth, according to PTI.
The rule had been relaxed last week to allow agents to be appointed from any part of an assembly constituency.
2:02 PM

West Bengal elections: 54.90 per cent of voters exercise their franchise till 1 pm

As many as 54.90 per cent of 7.38 million voters in West Bengal exercise their franchise till 1 pm in 30 seats where polling is underway for first phase, according to PTI.
1:11 PM

A delegation of TMC leaders met Chief Electoral Officer in Kolkata

Sudip Bandyopadhyay says, "BJP had submitted a memorandum requesting to change the system of appointing booth agents wherein he must be a voter of the concerned booth & allow anybody at any booth"
1:06 PM

Congress-led UDF has taken up the job of 'hangman' of KIIFB: Kerala CM

Sharpening his attack against the Congress and BJP in poll-bound Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday alleged that the central agencies were carrying out "destructive activities" in the southern state and the opposition UDF was 'playing musical instruments' to it.
Hitting out at the central agencies' probe against certain state government projects, the Marxist leader alleged that the sangh parivar was using its power at the Centre to "destroy" institutions like the KIIFB, which undertook unprecedented infrastructure development activities in the state in the last five years. Read on...
1:02 PM

Derek O'Brien makes veiled attack at Suvendu, says Bengal's daughter will defeat it's traitor in Nandigram

In a veiled attack at BJP candidate in Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien on Saturday said "Bengal's daughter (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) will defeat Bengal's traitor in Nandigram Assembly seat.
Speaking to ANI, he said, " TMC will win Bengal. Bengal's daughter will defeat Bengal's traitor in his own backyard at Nandigram. Members of tourist gang will continue to do what they do best - try and destroy every institution in India."
Adhikari, a former TMC leader, joined the BJP ahead of Assembly polls. Adhikari is a sitting MLA from Nandigram, a seat where Mamata Banerjee has decided to contest this time instead of Bhawanipur.
Polling in Nandigram constituency will be held in the second phase of the assembly election on April 1.
12:42 PM

Sporadic violence marks first phase of Bengal polls

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some areas that are voting in the first phase of the assembly elections in West Bengal on Saturday, even as the overall poll situation was peaceful with 36.09 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, officials said.
Elections are being held in 30 seats, most of which are in the once-Naxal-affected Jungle Mahal region, across five districts amid tight security, they said.
"Till 11 am the voter turnout is 36.09 per cent. It has been by and large peaceful so far," a senior Election Commission (EC) official said.
12:32 PM

West Bengal election 2021: TMC delegation to meet CEO to raise 'serious concerns'

A delegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) will meet the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) at 12 noon on Saturday to raise 'some serious concerns', as polling for the first phase of state assembly elections is underway.
Taking to Twitter, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) questioned the Election Commission of India (ECI) on how the voting percentage reduced drastically to half within five minutes.
"What is happening @ECISVEEP?! Could you explain how voting percentage drastically reduced to half within a gap of just 5 minutes?! Shocking! @CEOWestBengal, please look into this urgently!" AITC tweeted.
11:54 AM

West Bengal polls: CPM leader Sushanta Ghosh attacked by unknown miscreants

During the first phase of West Bengal assembly elections, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate for the Salboni constituency, Sushanta Ghosh, was attacked by unknown miscreants.
Ghosh was attacked at Salboni by unidentified men before being escorted away by security.
Further investigation into the matter is underway.
The first phase of the assembly polls is witnessing a triangular contest in Salboni between Ghosh, Trinamool Congress' Srikanto Mahato and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rajib Kundu.
11:24 AM

Cast vote against divisive forces to strengthen democracy: Rahul to people

11:01 AM

West Bengal Assembly polls: BJP accuses TMC of creating disturbances at polling booths

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from West Midnapore Samit Das on Saturday alleged that Trinamool Congress is creating disturbances in the rural areas of the district as voting in the first phase of Assembly polls is underway.
Das cast his vote at a polling booth in the West Midnapore district in the state.
"Voting in Midnapore town is going on smoothly. But, at some places in rural areas, TMC workers are trying to create a disturbance," Das told ANI.
"At booth no. 266 and 267, some TMC workers entered the booth to influence the voters. We have complained to the Election Commission regarding the matter," Das said.
"We trust the Central police force. They are trying to help in conducting the polls smoothly," he added.
9:56 AM

West Bengal election LIVE updates: Vehicle catches fire under mysterious circumstances in Purulia

A vehicle caught fire under mysterious circumstances as it was returning after delivering food to polling workers in Purulia on Friday night ahead of the first phase of polling, here in West Bengal.
The driver has been taken for questioning by the police and further details are awaited.
Meanwhile, polling for the first phase of elections started at 7 am across 30 seats in the state. In the first phase, 30 seats covering all assembly constituencies from the districts of Purulia and Jhargram and a segment of Bankura, Purba Medinipur, and Paschim Medinipur are going for polls.The first phase of polling will decide the electoral fate of 191 candidates including 21 women. Read on...

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First Published: Mar 27 2021 | 6:20 AM IST

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