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Over 55 pc votes polled in 6 hrs in WB, BJP candiate attacked

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Amid sporadic violence from Paschim Medinipore district, polling at eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal was peaceful as 55.58 per cent of 1,33,69,749 voters exercised their franchise in the first six hours of voting on Sunday.

BJP's Ghatal candidate Bharati Ghosh was allegedly attacked by locals twice when she tried to visit polling stations in Keshpur in.

Tamluk seat recorded the highest 59.07 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm followed by 58.21 per cent in Jhargram (ST), 57.09 per cent in Kanthi, 56.06 per cent in Purulia, 54.95 per cent in Ghatal, 53.02 per cent in Medinipore, 52.84 per cent in Bishunupur (SC), and 52.82 per cent in Bankura, an election official said.

The eight constituencies are spread across five districts of the state.

"Polling is moslty peaceful except some incidents of disturbances in Keshpur. We have sought reports," a senior official of the state CEO's office told PTI.

There were reports of attack on BJP's Ghatal candidate, former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, when she tried to enter a polling booth in Keshpur.

Following it, bombs were hurled at and stones were pelted towards her convoy when she tried to visit another booth in Keshpur after receiving complaints of rigging there.

One of her security gurards was injured and a vehicle of her convoy was damaged in the stone pelting following which the security officers restored to lathicharge.

It was also alleged a Trinamool Congress worker was injured in firing by the central force personnel who were with the BJP candidate who, however, denied the charge.

The official said, "So far we have not received reports of any firing. We are looking into it. Our officials in the districts have been asked to send details of the incidents of attacks on Bharati Ghosh quickly."

The CEO also sought a report after Ghosh was seen videographying inside a polling booth at Pikurda in Keshpur.

Ghosh's vehicle was again blocked by locals when she tried to enter Keshpur market area. The state police posted in the area intervened and her vehicle was seized.

"Her vehicle has no valid pass to move through the area on the polling day. We cannot allow her to move around like this. This is a matter of security," the police officer said.

After the seizure, a large number of protestors gathered there and she took shelter inside a temple in Keshpur market area with her security officers guarding her.

The mob also pelted stones to the policemen who resorted to lathicharge to disperse them. Owners of shops in the market downed the shutters.

Ghosh was then taken to Keshpur police station to protect her from the wrath of the protestors.

BJP's candidate and state party president Dilip Ghosh also faced protests from locals when he tried to visit a polling booth in his constituency, Midnapore.

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

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 14:16 IST