Despite some sporadic incidents, the much-hyped Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections took off peacefully recording a slow 9.14 per cent voting in the first three hours of polling.

According to the provisional data released by the state election commission only 9.14 per cent of polling was recorded in the first three hours of polling. Among the 16 boroughs of the Corporation, Brough 12 recorded the highest polling percentage of 13.1 and Borough 8 recorded the lowest voters' turnout of only 6.9 per cent.

election in india
Election officials count votes in the West Bengal Assembly elections, at a counting centre in Kolkata, May 19, 2016.Reuters

Though heavy police arrangements were made to ensure free and fair election -- as committed by the commission to the Calcutta High Court, but the opposition BJP alleged that the low turnout was only because the ruling Trinamool Congress threatened the opposition voters last night not to go to the polling stations. However, this has been strongly refuted by the ruling party. More than 23,000 police force is deployed for the election.

Incidentally, around 9.30 a.m. two bombs were hurled infront of Khanna school that falls under ward no 36. Though the BJP alleged that Trinamool Congress was responsible for this, the ruling party countered alleging that it was a plan of the opposition to disrupt the polling process.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls

Meanwhile, several BJP candidates, including Girish Shukla of ward no 16 alleged that the CCTVs -- that was to be mandatorily installed inside the polling premises -- were not functioning properly and the candidates were physically harassed when they tried to lodge a complaint against it.

In the KMC election 40,48,357 electors will decide the fate of 950 candidates. Voting will be held in 4,959 polling stations spanning across 1,676 premises. The total number of male and female electors are 21,17,840 and 19,30,444 respectively. Altogether 25,826 polling personnel, including 70 females are engaged in the election.


The SEC has made an extensive security arrangement for ensuring peaceful elections. There will be CCTV surveillance in all the polling premises with at least one-armed police in a polling premise. The total number of police force deployed will be 23,000 that includes 5,000 from the state police. There will be 286 sector mobiles, 72 RT mobiles, 35 Heavy Radio Flying Squad (HRFS),78 Quick Response Team (QRT), 18 special QRT, six river patrols, 200 police pickets and 25 NAKA checking points.

The SEC will have special security arrangements for the 1,139 sensitive booths spread across 786 premises on the poll day with special QRT deployment, more deployment of armed police and an officer in the rank of inspector and above will be manning these booths.

According to sources in the SEC, the highest number of sensitive booths 250 are located in Borough 7 followed by Borough 1 where there are 112 booths and Borough 3 with 100 booths. The lowest number of sensitive booths 22 are located in Borough 13. Considering the sensitivity of the election, the commission has arranged for CCTV cameras in all the booths and that will be monitored from the central office of the commission.

(With inputs from IANS)