KOLKATA: Polling has ended for 30 assembly seats including Nandigram in the second phase of Bengal Assermbly elections. Over 80 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5.30pm with highest voting in Bankura and lowest in Paschim Medinipur. Bankura has recorded 82.78 per cent turnout, while Paschim Medinipur 78.05 per cent, Purbo Medinipur 81.23 per cent and South 24 Parganas 79.66 per cent. Nandigram, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting against Suvendu Adhikari, recorded 80.79 per cent turnout.
Earlier, massive face-off between TMC and BJP supporters broke out over Mamata Banerjee's presence at a booth in Nandigram. Supporters from the both sides claimed that people had come there from outside. Chanting Jai Shri Ram, a sea of BJP supporters demanded Mamata Banerjee to leave the area. They claimed that Mamata had brought people from outside.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari's convoy had come under attack in Nandigram. According to reports, stones were thrown at cavalcade of Suvendu Adhikari. However, it missed and hit media car instead. The incident took place in Takapura area of Nandigram. Also, a vehicle of media personnel was attacked near booth number 170 in Kamalpur, Nandigram. Suvendu Adhikari claimed the TMC leaders were behind the attack. "These are work of Pakistanis, 'Jay Bangla' is a slogan from Bangladesh. There are voters from a particular community at that booth who are doing this," Adhikari said.
In the morning, violence was reported from parts of districts going to polls in Phase-2. A woman polling agent of BJP at booth number 173 in Keshpur was beaten up allegedly by TMC workers. And, local BJP leader Tanmay Ghosh's car was vandalised in Keshpur assembly constituency. Some CPIM workers agitated at Ghatal after they were allegedly stopped by TMC workers as they were on their way to cast their vote.
Voting began at 7 a.m. Many, including the first-time voters, reached polling stations hours before the voting began. Of the 171 candidates in the fray — 152 male, 19 female. Polling will continue till 6 p.m.
The Election Commission is on its toes to check any further violence. It has also started air surveillance in many areas with the help of a helicopter. People who are not voters of Nandigram are reportedly not being allowed to enter the constituency in view of the sensitivity. The commission has also deployed a 22-personnel quick response teams (QRTs). (IANS)