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STATE ELECTIONS 2006

It’s official: 80% voters turned up for WB phase 1

Wednesday 19 April 2006

Express news service

Kolkata, April 18 : It’s been a record of sorts. In the first phase of polling in the three districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, 80 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise.

The Election Commission (EC) had yesterday said that 70 per cent polling was recorded, but that was an approximation. The final tally today reached a staggering 80 per cent. At two booths in West Midnapore district, Garbeta East and Nayagram, polling was as high as 100 per cent.

??We attribute this to the enthusiasm of the electors and also the fact that names of large number of dead voters had been deleted from the electoral rolls,’’ said State chief electoral officer Debashis Sen.

There are 62 lakh voters in these districts. In 5,460 of the total 7,749 booths, the percentage was more than 80 per cent.

As directed by the EC, the observers and returning officers checked Form 17A that contains the details of documents a voter submits for identification, and Form 17C that mentions the number of voters who turned out at the booth, and sent their reports to the Commission.

Dispelling apprehensions from some quarters, the EC did not order repoll at any of the booths where voting was held. However, there will be repoll at two booths at Jhalda in Purulia district tomorrow where the EVMs did not function.

Meanwhile, Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan is coming to Kolkata tomorrow to oversee the preparations for the remaining phases of elections in the State. The second phase of elections is going to take place on April 22 in the four districts of Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore and Nadia.

??Balakrishnan will have a video conference with the DMs of all the districts of South Bengal. After that he will visit places like Tamluk, Howrah and if possible, Burdwan,’’ informed Sen.

The CEO also said that election in the Assembly constituency of Bhatpara has been countermanded because of the death of the BSP candidate from there.

See online : The Indian Express

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