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18% votes cast in Bengal in two hours

IANS  |  Cooch Behar/Alipurduar (West Bengal) 

Amid stray violence and EVM glitches, and Alipurduar constituencies in polled 18 per cent votes in the first two hours of polling on Thursday as the Lok Sabha polls kicked off in the country.

Of the total over 34 lakh voters in these constituencies, an average 18.10 per cent had polled till 9 a.m., an told IANS in Kolkata.

Long queues could be seen in front of the booths in both the constituencies from well before the polling process began at 7 a.m.

Voting process in a number of polling stations in was temporarily disrupted for sometime as EVM machines stopped working. alleged a conspiracy and said he had complained to the

"How can so many EVMs go bad? We smell a conspiracy. I have tried to complain to the but they are not reachable. So I have informed the District Magistrate," Ghosh said.

A television grab showed a couple of injured Trinamool booth level workers in The ruling party blamed the for the violence.

While Cooch Behar is a Scheduled Caste reserved seat, the Alipurduar is a Scheduled Tribes reserved one.

A total of 34,54,274 voters, including 16,81,051 women and 29 registered in the 'other' category, are eligible to exercise their franchise across 3,844 polling stations to decide the fate of 18 candidates.

Eighty=three companies of the paramilitary forces have been deployed in the two districts along with the

Organised tea garden workers and their dependents form a sizeable chunk of voters in Cooch Behar and about 50 per cent of the electorate in Alipurduar.

In 2014, the had won both the seats.

The Trinamool, BJP, and Left Front are in fray in both the seats. Among the Left's partners, the (RSP) is contesting Alipurduar, and the All forward is fighting in Cooch Behar.

The subsequent phases of polls in will be held on April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.

The votes will be counted on May 23.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 11:08 IST