Kolkata, April 18: Voting for the second phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 took place in three constituencies of West Bengal today. Polling began for the Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Raiganj Parliamentary seats on Thursday, April 18 at 7 am and continued till 6 pm. Security has been increased by 150% in the second phase citing the long history of violence in the state during the polls. The polling percent recorded in the first phase for two seats was 69.44 per cent. In these round of the polls, a total voter turnout of 75.27 per cent was recorded.
Though Polling began in almost all the constituencies, voting is yet to begin at booth number 29/134 at Islampur Hindi FP School of Uttar Dinajpur, in Raiganj Parliamentary constituency, due to EVM malfunctioning. Two journalists from ABP Ananda - Parthapratim Ghosh and Swapan Majumdar - attacked at near Kantaphoolbadi booth in Raigunj constituency in West Bengal. Cameras damaged. Along with this, the car of CPM candidate Md Salim from Raigunj was attacked by miscreants. Even an EVM was vandalised during a clash between TMC and BJP workers in Chopra.
Villagers have blocked a highway in Raiganj, alleging violence and intimidation by Trinamool Congress goons for allegedly capturing the polling booths. Even voting in Mekhliganj area voting was stopped as people allege they are not being allowed to exercise their democratic rights. The Election Commissioner had asked details from the district commissioner. Similar reports were coming from Darjeeling and Uttar Dinajpur's Chopra area. Following the violence and poll barring allegations in several polling booths in Raiganj and Darjeeling constituencies, a BJP delegation is scheduled to meet EC at 4 pm today. Even Left delegation expected to march to EC now to raise the issue of violence in Bengal.
According to reports, the EC has deployed 194 companies (15,000 troopers) of paramilitary forces for 5,390 polling booths in Phase 2, in comparison to 83 companies (6,000 troopers) of paramilitary forces for 3,844 polling booths in Phase 1. The maximum mobilisation is likely to be deployed in Darjeeling, as it has a history of violent clashes. It is to be noted that the deployment of paramilitary forces is in addition to the state police. West Bengal Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Phase I Voting Concludes, 70% Polling Recorded.
As per the EC data, Darjeeling has 1,899 polling booths in which 16 lakh voters would exercise their democratic rights. Similarly, for Jalpaiguri, there are 1,868 polling stations for around 17 voters and Raigang has 1,623 polling booths for around 16 lakh voters. The ECI further had noted that other than deployment of two CPMF personnel in every polling booth, a surplus of more than 1,000 troopers would be deployed in every constituency.
Lok Sabha Constituencies Going for Polls in Phase 2 With Details:
Jalpaiguri_SC (3) Lok Sabha Seat 2014 Results:
Winning MP: Bijoy Chandra Barman (AITC)
Losing Candidate: Mahendra Kumar Ray (CPM)
AITC: Bijoy Chandra Barman
BJP: Dr Jayanta Ray
CPM: Bhagirath Roy
INC: Mani Kumar Darnal
Darjeeling (4) Lok Sabha Seat 2014 Results:
Winning MP: SS Ahluwalia (BJP)
Losing Candidate: Bhai Chung Bhutia (AITC)
BJP: Raju Singh Bisht
AITC: Amar Singh Rai
CPM: Saman Pathak
INC: Shankar Malakar
Raiganj (5) Lok Sabha Seat 2014 Results:
Winning MP: Md Salim (CPM)
Losing Candidate: Deepa Dasmunshi (INC)
BJP: Deboshree Chaudhary
AITC: Kanaia Lal Agarwal
CPM: Md Salim
INC: Deepa Dasmunshi
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Phase 2: Schedule, Date, States And Constituencies
The main contest for three parliamentary seats is between Communist Party of India (Marxist), Trinamool Congress, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. Along with the three seats, the polls would be conducted in other 92 seats, spread across 10 states and Pudducherry. The results of the polls would be announced on May 23.