Despite violence, Bengal records 36.88% voting in 8 seats by noon
Despite violence, Bengal records 36.88% voting in 8 seats by noonIANS

Brisk polling for eight Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal was witnessed on Saturday taking the voting percentage to 36.88 in the first four hours till 11 a.m.

Massive violence was reported from Keshpur under the Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency in the West Midnapore district after the BJP candidate from that constituency and actor-turned-politician Hiran Chatterjee reached there.

A huge crowd of Trinamool Congress supporters blocked his car by felling trees on the road and burning tyres. The ruling party supporters surrounded Chatterjee's vehicles shouting "Go Back Hiran" slogans and claiming they would not allow Chatterjee to enter Keshpur under any circumstances.

A huge contingent of state police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel had a tough time controlling the aggressive crowd. Even a deputy inspector general (DIG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) reached the spot leading the team in removing the crowd.

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Finally, after a lot of altercation, Chatterjee decided to turn around his vehicle and leave the spot. "This is the real state of affairs in West Bengal under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She has turned the entire state into Pakistan," Chatterjee said before leaving.

Similarly at Haldia under the Tamluk Lok Sabha in East Midnapore district, the BJP candidate and former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay, faced similar resistance from the ruling party activists while he was approaching the booth. However, the CAPF personnel, who were a part of the quick response team, chased the crowd with batons and cleared the path for Gangopadhyay.

As per records from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), West Bengal till 11 a.m. the maximum polling was recorded at Ghatal at 39.21, followed by Jhargram at 38.24, Tamluk at 38.05, Kanthi at 38.03, Bishnupur at 37.98, Bankura at 35.84, Medinipur at 34.41 and Purulia being the lowest at 33.16.

During the first four hours, the CEO's office received 954 complaints, of which the maximum came from CPI(M) at 84 followed by BJP at 82. Trinamool Congress filed only two complaints.

(With inputs from IANS)