New Delhi/Kolkata: The 49 assembly constituencies in West Bengal which went to polls on Monday in fourth phase of assembly elections recorded 78.05 per cent voter turnout with the Election Commission of India saying it was a "smooth" affair.
Deputy Election Commissioner in the Election Commission in-charge of West Bengal Sandeep Saxena told a press conference here that the figure of 78.05 per cent was based on text messages sent by poll officers to the Commission at 5 pm "and the percentage is likely to go up when the final figures arrive".
Responding to questions on violence, he said by and large the elections passed of "smoothly" barring "sporadic" incidents of violence. He said in all the cases reported, FIRs have been lodged and "raids were still on" to nab the culprits.
A total of 18 people have so far been held, Saxena said. Referring to poll percentage, he said in the 2011 assembly polls, the turnout in these constituencies was 83.81 per cent and 81.49 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Since the polling in this phase involved some islands, 72 riverine patrols were pressed into service and even poll observers witnessed how these work.
With two more phases to go before the six-phase Assembly election in West Bengal ends, Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Monday claimed that her party had reached the majority mark, while CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra made a claim that the CPI(M)-Congress alliance would win 200 seats.
"Today the fourth phase of polls was held. If I understand politics, after this phase of polls we have already attained the majority mark needed to form the new government. You can check it when the results are announced," Mamata told an election meeting here.
The TMC chief claimed that her government in the last five years had undertaken various development projects and turned Bengal into the favourite industrial destination.
Expressing confidence about the success of the (Congress-Left) alliance in the election, Mishra claimed, "After the first three phases of polling we said we will surely win in over 100 seats but after today's polls we aim for 200...seats. And the alliance of the people is heading towards that."
Echoing her party supremo, TMC leader Mukul Roy also claimed that Trinamool has reached majority figure after Monday's polling.
West Bengal State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on the other hand claimed that the Trinamool Congress would cease to exist after the results were announced on May 19. Chowdhury said people had been able to resist the terror tactics of the TMC.
"The TMC has engaged its entire machinery to stop people from exercising their democratic rights. In many places TMC have captured booths. But people have resisted those terror tactics in most of the places and have voted," Chowdhury said. Elections were held in 216 seats till Monday.
Polling for the remaining 78 seats in two more phases is scheduled to take place on April 30 and May 5.