West Bengal Phase-3 Voting Live: For 31 seats, 205 candidates are in fray and more than 78.5 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
West Bengal Assembly Election Phase-3 Polling Live Updates: Nearly 35 per cent polling was recorded in West Bengal till 11 am. Polling is underway for 31 seats spread across three districts — 16 in South 24 Parganas (part II), seven in Howrah (part I) and eight in Hooghly (part I). Highest voting has been recorded in Hooghly at 37.26 per cent followed by Howrah 36.97 per cent and South 24 Parganas 32.44 per cent.
The initial trends are mostly on the lines of phase-1 and phase-2 polls held on March 27 and April 1 respectively. A long queue of voters are seen at most of the polling station. So far, voting is mostly peaceful barring few instances of allegation and counter allegation between the TMC and the BJP. Earlier this morning, the Election Commission suspended a sector officer after three EVMs and four VVPAT machines were found at TMC leader Goutam Ghosh’s residence. According to reports, sector officer Tapan Sarkar, who was in-charge of Sector 17 in Uluberia seat, had spent the night at a relative’s house who happened to be Goutam Ghosh. The EVMs and VVPAT machines with Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. The commission has said that these EVMs won’t be used for voting today.
A three-cornered battle is on the cards in 31 assembly seats polling for which are underway in West Bengal. More than 78.5 lakh voters will be deciding the fate of 205 candidates. Prominent candidates among them are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly. 618 companies of central forces have been deployed to guard 10,871 polling stations, all of which have been marked “sensitive” by the commission. Of the 31 constituencies going to polls in phase three, the Trinamool had won 30 seats in the 2016 assembly elections while the Congress had managed to bag Amta constituency in Howrah district.