Repolling in Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra polling station in 5-Sitalkuchi (SC)Assembly Constituency was also conducted
Strict preventive measures and Timely seizures of bombs and arms ensures violence free, peaceful elections
Voters abide by Covid protocols at Polling Booths
Delhi, April 30
Polling concluded peacefully today across 11,860 Polling Stations spread over 35 Assembly Constituencies, in the last phase of elections in the State of West Bengal. Voters enthusiastically participated, following Covid appropriate behaviour as per laid down protocols of sanitization and social distancing. Voter Turnout of 76.07 % was reported by 5 PM for the last Phase of elections on April 29.
The Commission laid out elaborate security plans to ensure violence free and safe conduct of elections. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with the local police force were deployed to ensure peaceful, intimidation free and conducive atmosphere for the smooth conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive and accessible manner.
The Commission has also been laying specific emphasis on inducement free elections and curbing the malaise of undue money power, liquor, freebies. During the ongoing elections till this phase in West Bengal, a record seizure of Rs. 339.45 Crores has been reported till date.
In the Phase VIII of West Bengal Assembly Elections, the total number of PwD electors and 80+ electors are 72,094 and 1,12,440 respectively. A total of 11,860 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,860 Control Units(CUs) and 11,860 VVPATs were used in West Bengal during this phase. 6,074 (51.21%) out of 11,860 polling stations were monitored live through webcasting.
Details of Electors, Polling Stations & Observers in West Bengal polls are as follows:
|Table 1 : Factsheet for West Bengal|
|State||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3||Phase 4||Phase 5||Phase 6||Phase 7||Phase 8||Total upto Phase 8|
|No of Polling Stations||10,288||10,620||10,871||15,940||15,789||14,480||11,376||11,860||101224|
|Total number of contesting candidates||191||171||205||373||319||306||268||283||2116|
|No of General Observers deployed||20||23||22||35||33||26||26||24||209|
|No of Police Observers deployed||7||6||9||9||12||13||10||9||75|
|No of Expenditure Observers deployed||9||9||9||10||16||13||9||10||85|
|% of voting||84.63
|79.90 (Final VTR)||82.49 (Final VTR)||82
(as of 5 PM)
* Total Number of Constituencies is 294. However, polling at Amtali Madhyamik Siksha Kendra polling station in Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency was also held today as polling was adjourned earlier due to incidents on 10 April 2021. Polling adjourned for two Assembly Constituencies viz 56 – Samserganj, 58 – Jangipur due to death of contesting candidate of recognized political party.
To ensure inclusive and accessible elections, the Commission had extended the option of postal ballot facility to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services. Observers at field level oversaw that proper arrangements for facilitation were made available for these voters.
On all Polling Stations, Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, waiting shed, toilet with water facility, adequate arrangements for lighting, ramp of appropriate gradient for wheelchair for PwD electors and a standard voting compartment etc. were made available at all the Polling Stations. Arrangements like transport facility, volunteers assisting Persons with Disability and senior citizens were present at the Polling Stations.For the safety of the voters and the election officials it was ensured that the Polling Stations were sanitized one day prior to poll and facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks were also made available at the Polling Stations. Proper arrangements for social distancing were put in place.
|Table 3 : Number of PwD & 80+ electors in West Bengal|
|State||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3||Phase 4||Phase 5||Phase 6||Phase 7||Phase 8||Total upto Phase 8|
|Number of PwD electors||40,408||54,765||64,083||50,523||60,198||64,266||50,919||72,094||4,57,256|
|Total number of 80+ electors||1,23,393||1,18,116||1,26,177||2,03,927||1,79,634||1,57,290||1,01,689||1,12,440||11,22,666|
All the Polling Stations followed COVID-19 Safety protocols To control the spread of Coronavirus, the Election Commission had invoked powers under Article 324 to curtail the timing of campaign. The Commission further banned and withdrew the permission already granted for roadshow, padyatra, cycle / bike / vehicle rally, public meeting with more than 500 people at one place subject to adhering of COVID guidelines. The Commission also wrote to political parties to abide by laid down covid protocols for campaigns and instructed District authorities to take necessary action under extant rules in case of any violations and to cancel permission for campaigns in such instances. The Commission reiterated the powers to District Election Officers and Returning Officers to cancel the public meetings / rallies if violations are observed.
A total of 11,860 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,860 Control Units(CUs) and 11,860 VVPATs were used in West Bengal during this phase. As per standard procedure all these EVMs and VVPATs had already undergone First Level Checking, Randomisation, and Commissioning in the presence of Political Parties/Candidates agents. During FLC and during commissioning each of these EVMs and VVPATs had undergone mock polls. Nonfunctioning rate of EVMs and VVPATs during the poll was comparable to what was experienced in the last few polls.
As a major push for conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths had been put in place as per Commission’s norms, to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas. Commission, CEOs, DEOs, Observers could watch live streaming and keep a close watch on these polling booths.
out of 11,860
During the ongoing elections till this phase in West Bengal, a record seizure of Rs. 339.45 Crores has already been reported till today. The seizure figures, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc., is 7.65 times of the total seizure of Rs. 44.33 Crores in General Election to Legislative Assembly, 2016. The Commission has been laying specific emphasis on inducement free elections and curbing the malaise of undue money power, liquor, freebies. For effective monitoring a total 1137 Flying Squads (FS) and 1012 Static Surveillance Teams (SST) were operationalised to check movement of cash, liquor, drugs & freebies in the State closely supervised by DEOs, Expenditure Observers in Districts and Special Observers. A total three Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of IT Department are also set at different stations in Kolkata, Andal in Durgapur and Bagdogra in West Bengal.
The progressive seizure of all five States/UT and bye-elections where assembly elections have been/are being held, as on date is Rs. 1042.05 Crore (this includes seizures of Rs. 12.11 Crore in bye-elections also)
|Item wise break up of seizure report as till 29.04.2021 Forenoon|
|States||Cash (in Rs. Cr.)||Precious Metal (in Rs. Cr.)||Drugs/ Narcotics||Other items/ freebies||Liquor||Total (in Rs. Cr.)||Total Seizure in LA 2016 (in Rs. Cr.)||% of LA 2016|
|Worth (in Rs. Cr.)||Worth (in Rs. Cr.)||Quantity (in Ltrs.)||Worth (in Rs. Cr.)|
|Till West Bengal 8th Phase||55.59||13.52||129.99||100.82||3314970||39.53||339.45||44.33||+766.00%|
Election Commission of India’s cVIGIL App is a citizen centric mobile application which empowers people to report cases of MCC violations in real time basis, with auto populated details of location and responded within 100 minutes after verification at field level. A total number of about 28,054 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations for West Bengal were reported through the cVIGIL app out of which 28,012 cases were disposed as of today (4:00 PM)
The Commission laid out an elaborate security plan to ensure violence free and safe conduct of elections. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with the local police force were deployed to ensure peaceful, intimidation free and conducive atmosphere for the smooth conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive and accessible manner.All SPs were directed to take necessary preventive action against the identified trouble mongers. Directives were issued for all Naka points to be properly manned and the SPs and other senior officers supervised the Nakas during night vigil to ensure that there was no entry of any anti socials, freebies, including liquor in poll bound areas. Proper coordination was made with Inter-District, Inter-State and International Border; districts, states, and agencies like BSF etc. All senior officers of concerned enforcement agencies gathered intelligence regarding the making of bombs, storage etc. and carried out operations to seize and neutralise the same. Similar operations were carried out against illegal arms and ammunition.
During Police patrol, for this phase, two one shotter and One 7.65 mm pistol, Eight round .303 and Five round 7.65 mm live ammunition were recovered from three suspects who were apprehended at Fatehpur. Based on a tipoff, Five unattended live crude bombs were seized in Kolkata. under the Cossipore PS area. Also based on a tipoff, 14 crude live bombs contained in a plastic sack concealed behind a Tin hut in P.S- Narkeldanga, Kolkata were seized with the assistance of the officials from Bomb Disposal Squad. Peaceful and orderly voting was thus ensured in 11,860 polling stations today.
The Commission expresses gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process. Commission particularly thanks PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honoring COVID protocol norms. The Commission also recognizes the services of the entire electoral machinery including polling staff on duty, security personnel, supervisory staff, Observers, Special Observers, Railway Authorities, enforcement agencies and also the Health authorities for making comprehensive arrangements and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections despite pandemic.
For election related updates, photographs and other details please visit our website eci.gov.in and Twitter handles @SpokespersonECI & @ECISVEEP.