Phase-1 poll: 72.14% turnout in Assam; 79.79% in West Bengal
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, March 27 (EMN): Assam recorded a voter turnout of 72.14 per cent and West Bengal registered 79.79 per cent till 5 pm on Saturday, in the first phase of assembly elections held in the two states, said the Election Commission.
It stated that the elections for phase-1 were conducted successfully across 21,825 polling stations spread over 77 assembly constituencies – 47 in Assam and 30 in West Bengal.
Nearly 74 lakh electorates across 10,288 polling stations were registered to exercise their franchise in this phase in West Bengal, while 81 lakh electorates were registered across 11,537 polling stations in Assam.
It was informed that all the polling stations were sanitised one day prior to poll and facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks etc. were also made available at the polling stations in view of the ensuing Covid-19 pandemic.
All the polling stations of phase-1 in Assam and West Bengal were also equipped with assured minimum facilities (AMF) of 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. All arrangements like transport facility, volunteers assisting PwDs and senior citizens were also made.
“During this phase, a total of 10288 Ballot Units (BUs), 10288 Control Units (CUs) and 10288 VVPATs were used in West Bengal and 11,537 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,537 Control Units (CUs) and 11,537 VVPATs were used in Assam. 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,” read the update from the Election Commission.
It informed that non-functioning rate of EVMs and VVPATs during the poll is lesser than experienced in last few polls. “As a major push in conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism for more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths was put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas,” it added.
INR 281.28 crore seized
The Election Commission stated that INR 281.28 crore was seized from the two states since the date of notification of election till first phase and this amount, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc., is more than four times higher than the total combined seizure of INR 60.91 crore in the assemble election held in 2016.
In Assam, INR 97.31 crore has been seized till date as against INR 16.58 crore in the last state assembly election and INR 183.97 crore has been seized in West Bengal as against as against INR 16.58 crore in 2016 election.
As many as 603 flying squads (FS) and 762 static surveillance teams (SST) were stationed to check movement of cash, liquor, drugs and freebies in Assam, while 1137 FS and 1012 SST were deployed in West Bengal.
167 MCC violation cases
A total number of 167 cases of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations were reported through the cVIGIL app from West Bengal, out of which 111 were disposed as of 4.30 pm on Saturday. As for Assam, 582 MCC cases were reported, out of which 423 were disposed till 4.30 pm.
Cvigil App is a citizen-centric mobile application which empowers people to report cases of MCC violations in real time.
In order to conduct free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism for more than 50% of polling stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths was put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas.