Polling in Phase 4 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal conducted today;
ECI adjourns polling in PS 126 of 5-Sitalkuchi (SC) AC, CoochBehar
By PIB Delhi
Polling was conducted in15,940 Polling Stations spread across 44 Assembly Constituencies today, in the fourth phase of elections in the state of West Bengal. However, based on report received from Special Observers on the reported incident of violence at one PS No. 126 under 5- Sitalkutchi(SC) Assembly Constituency, Cooch Behar, ECI has adjourned the Poll. Detailed report is awaited .
Details of Electors, Polling Stations & Observers in the poll are as follows:
|Table 1 : Factsheet for West Bengal|
|State||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3||Phase 4||Total upto Phase 4|
|No of Polling Stations||10,288||10,620||10,871||15,940||47,719|
|Total number of contesting candidates||191||171||205||373||940|
|No of General observers deployed||20||23||22||35||100|
|No of Police observers deployed||7||6||9||9||31|
|No of Expenditure observers deployed||9||9||7||10||35|
|% of voting till 5 PM||84.63(Final VTR)||86.11(Final VTR)||84.61(Final VTR)||76.16%|
To ensure inclusive and accessible elections, ECI has 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. The Observers at the ground level oversaw that proper arrangements for facilitation were made available for these voters.
|Table 2 : Number of PwD & 80+ electors|
|State||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3||Phase 4||Total upto Phase 4|
|Number of PwD electors||40,408||54,765||64,083||50,523||2,09,779|
|Total number of 80+ electors||1,23,393||1,18,116||1,26,177||2,03,927||5,71,613|
Total Number of PwD Electors = 50,523
Total Number of 80+ Electors = 2,03,927
A total of 15,940 Ballot Units (BUs), 15,940 Control Units(CUs) and 15,940 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. Today before the start of the poll each of the EVMs and VVPATs again underwent a mock poll in the presence of polling agents of the candidates with minimum 50 votes cast on each, as per standard procedure. At the end of the mock poll the results of EVM were matched with the result of VVPAT slips and shown to the polling agents. Nonfunctioning rate during the poll is 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 has been put in place as per ECI 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.
|8304(52.1%)||Polling stationsout of 15,940monitored livethrough webcasting|
As per Commission’s instruction police officials including CAPF personnel will not go inside the polling booth unless required by the Presiding Officer due to law and order problem. It is the standing instruction of the Commission that outsiders will not be allowed in the areas of poll going assembly constituencies during the silence period i.e. 48 hours before the end of polling hours. The Commission had reiterated this instruction in a briefing of DEOs and police officials. These guidelines were strictly and rigorously followed.
During the ongoing elections till this phase in West Bengal, a record seizure of Rs.283.70 Crore has already been reported on April 10, 2021. The seizure figure, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc., is more than 6.4 times of the total seizure of Rs. 44.33 Crore in GE LA 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 these states/UT closely supervised by DEOs, Expenditure Observers in Districts and Special observers. A total 3 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 where assembly elections have been/are being held, as on 10.04.2021 is Rs. 973.7 Crore (this includes seizures of Rs. 4.46 Crore in bye-elections also.)
Item wise break up of seizure report as till 10.04.2021 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|
|Quantity (in Kg)||Worth (in Rs. Cr.)||Worth (in Rs. Cr.)||Quantity (in Ltrs.)||Worth (in Rs. Cr.)|
|Till West Bengal 4th Phase||46.76||10.60||2886.5||117||82.02||2260441||27.31||283.70||44.33||+640%|
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 21217 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations were reported through the cVIGIL app out of which 20987 cases were disposed as of today (3:00 PM)
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.
All the Polling Stations followed COVID-19 Safety protocols. 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. BLOs and volunteers monitored and regulated strict compliance of social distancing norms at the Polling Stations. At the last hour of the poll, polling was conducted in full COVID-19 protective gear, with proper COVID-19 protocols and supervision of health authorities. The Commission has laid great emphasis on ensuring a transparent and vigilant mechanism for COVID safe, intimidation free and inducement free elections amidst tight security arrangements. Polling across ACs was conducted under strict security arrangements.
The Election Commission has laid out an elaborate security plan to ensure smooth and safe conduct of elections. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with the local police force have been deployed to ensure peaceful, intimidation free and conducive atmosphere for the smooth conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive and accessible manner. Route marches in vulnerable pockets, regular point patrolling and other Confidence Building Measures were carried out to reassure voters, especially those belonging to the weaker sections of society. Peaceful and orderly voting took place on 15,939 booths except 1 at PS No. 126 of Sitalkurchi Assembly Constituency of Cooch Behar where re-polling has been ordered.
Election Commission of India expresses gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process today. Commission particularly thanks PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honoring COVID protocol norms. ECI 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 as also the Health authorities for making comprehensive arrangements and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections despite pandemic. The Commission solicits active cooperation, close collaboration and constructive partnership from all stakeholders including media for delivering smooth and peaceful elections.