West Bengal saw 78.36 per cent turnout as voting took place for the fifth phase of elections on Saturday that saw workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP clash near a polling booth in the Bidhan Nagar constituency in West Bengal.
The incident took place in the Sukanta Nagar locality, prompting the Election Commission to deploy a large number of police personnel in the area.
The two parties have blamed each other for the eruption of the fight, allegedly sparked by the intimidation of voters. Bricks and stones were hurled, injuring eight people, officials said according to PTI.
Trinamool candidate Sujit Bose, the outgoing Fire Services Minister, blamed his BJP rival Sabyasachi Dutta for the clashes. The former Trinamool leader joined the BJP in October 2019.
Meanwhile, ANI reported the death of a BJP polling agent inside a polling booth in Kamarhati in North 24 Parganas district today. The Election Commission has now sought a report on the incident, ANI said.
"His name is Abhijeet Samanta. Nobody helped him, there is no facility for treatment here," the dead man's brother told ANI.
Polling was held in 45 constituencies covering the districts of Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, and segments of Nadia, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Bardhaman. Up to 319 candidates, including 39 women, are contesting this time, making it the biggest phase of all.
There were 15,789 polling stations designated for this phase. The security for this phase was ramped up with the deployment of 1,071 companies of central forces for ensuring a peaceful election.
The voting for the sixth phase will be held on April 22.