Kolkata: Barring death of a polling agent inside a booth following cardiac arrest, nearly a casualty free election was witnessed on Saturday in West Bengal’s 45 assembly seats for the 5th phase in six districts with turnout to be around 80 per cent amid unprecedented security arrangements.
As the Sitalkuchi killings (five dead) in the 4th phase were still debated among the rival political parties, holding the 5th phase polling peacefully amid surge of covid-19 was a major challenge for Election Commission of India, which deployed an unprecedented 1071 companies of central armed forces.
Besides policing some 15,789 polling booths across the six districts to ensure free and fair polling, covid-19 precaution was also taken to 1.12 crore voters with thermal checking , sanitization of hands and providing plastic gloves against spreading pandemic.
In fact there had been no report of any violent incident reported from inside the booth and whatever stray incidents happened, which were far from the polling stations. Only a polling agent of BJP at Kamarhati in North 24 Parganas died of cardiac arrest.
Barasat Superintendent of Police has submitted his report to Special Police Observer on the alleged incident of ‘blank firing by CRPF personnel’ deputed at a booth in Deganga constituency. The report states that the “the allegation is found to be not based on facts.”