West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 80.43 per cent till 7.30 pm in the second phase of the state Assembly polls, according to the Election Commission of India’s Turnout App. While Bankura district saw the highest voter turnout of 82.78 per cent, Purbo Medinipur district which constitutes Nandigram witnessed a voter turnout of 81.23 per cent. The Katalpur constituency recorded the highest voter turnout of 87.21 per cent.
Voting for the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly election began at 7 am on Thursday and is taking place in 30 assembly constituencies in the districts of South 24 Parganas, Bankura, Paschim Medinipur and Purba Medinipur to decide the fate of 171 candidates.
Nandigram was the hot topic on Thursday as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is taking on her former ministerial colleague and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari in the constituency. While CM visited a polling station in Nandigram, Adhikari visited some places in the constituency.
Amid high voltage drama in the area, there were reports of violence and face-off. A media vehicle was also reported to be vandalised in Nandigram by unidentified miscreants.
On Thursday, Mamata Banerjee accused the central forces deployed in the Nandigram constituency of helping the BJP under the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. She also alleged Election Commission was following the instructions of Shah and not acting on complaints of alleged irregularities lodged by her party.
Despite sporadic violence and accusations of vote fraud in Nandigram, the TMC supremo said she was confident of victory from the constituency where she had a decade-and-half ago led a farmers' movement against a chemical hub planned by the then Left Front government.
"The CRPF, BSF are acting under the instructions of Home Minister Amit Shah....they are only helping the BJP," she told reporters outside a polling station in Nandigram constituency. She demanded that Shah, who had earlier campaigned for Suvendu Adhikari, her rival in Nandigram, must "control the BJP goons brought from outside". She added, "This is shameful. The people will give them a befitting reply. The way even women journalists have been heckled is disgraceful.”
CM also slammed the Election Commission for "inaction" despite her party lodging several complaints and threatened to move the law courts over it. "We have lodged 63 complaints since morning. But no action has been taken. We will move the court over it. This is unacceptable," the chief minister said seated, in a wheelchair outside booth 7 in Boyal in Nandigram.
(With Inputs from PTI)