West Bengal recorded 51.68 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm. Polls are going for three Lok Sabha constituencies, Darjeeling, Raiganj and Jalpaiguri, in the state. Some reports of violence were also reported from Darjeeling, suggest reports. A total of 16.14 per cent polling was recorded in Darjeeling, while Jalpaiguri (SC) and Raiganj saw a voter turnout of 16.84 per cent and 17.45 per cent at 11 am, respectively.
The Raiganj constituency is one of the two seats from where the Left had won from Bengal in the 2014 national election. Raiganj symbolises Left's struggle for existence in the state. The constituency is considered as a Congress stronghold. In 1999 and 2004, Congress' Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi won the election by a huge margin. The BJP has fielded Debasree Chaudhuri from Raiganj. CPI (M)'s Mohammed Salim, who won in 2014, is again contesting from this seat. Former Congress MLA Kanaialal Agarwal, who joined TMC is also contesting from Raniganj. During the second phase voting, several reports of violence and protests came in from Raiganj constituency, EC sources said.
CPM candidate from Raiganj Mohammad Salim's vehicle was attacked in Islampur. The left party has alleged that state ruling party Trinamool Congress (TMC) is behind the attack.
In Darjeeling, where the BJP has won the last two election, the saffron party has fielded Raju Bista, who will fighting against TMC's Amar Rai. For more than a decade, TMC has been losing from Darjeeling. TMC last won from this seat was in the year 1998.
The third consituency of the Bengal's second-phase poll is Jalpaiguri, which is a reserved constituency located in north Bengal. The constituency shares border with Bangladesh and comprises communities such as the Rajbangshis, Gorkhas, Adivasis and Bengalis. Jalpaiguri is said to be a Left citadel as the party had a stronghold from the 1980's till 2009. At present, BJP's Dr Jayanta Ray is all set to challenge TMC incumbent Bijoy Chandra Barman. Apart fro these two, Mani Kumar Darnal from Congress and trade union Saman Pathak from CPI(M) are also contesting from Jalpaiguri Lok Sabha seat.
The Election Commission has deployed more than 190 personnel of central forces in over 5,000 polling booths in Raiganj, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling to curb violence during the polling.
(With PTI inputs)
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