Nearly 83 percent vote in Bengal polls' phase four



 The final turnout in the polling for six Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, including in the Maoist-affected Junglemahal area, stood at nearly 83 percent - an over five percent increase in comparison to the 2009 polls, said an official.

People queued up beyond the scheduled ending time of 6 p.m. Wednesday to cast their votes, leading to a turnout of 82.89 percent.

The areas going to the hustings included the Maoist heartland of Junglemahal -- the large forested stretches of West Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia districts -- where a massive security cover has been provided. Asansol in Burdwan district also voted Wednesday.

The elections ended two hours before the scheduled time of 6 p.m. in six assembly segments in the Maoist belt."The final turnout is 82.89 percent for the six seats," said Amit Ray Chaudhury, officer on special duty in the state chief electoral officer's office.

The turnout in the 2009 elections stood at 77.72 percent. According to chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta, the process overall was "peaceful barring isolated incidents." No major incidents were reported.

Simultaneous bypoll was held to the state assembly in the Kotulpur constituency of Bankura district.

As many as 163 complaints were noted and action initiated by poll panel during Wednesday's poll.

The Commission has received a total of 1,087 complaints from various political parties since the March 5 announcement of the elections, with CPI-M topping the list by registering 446 grievances.

As many as eight people have died and 959 injured in a total of 1,004 instances of pre-poll violence since March 5.- IANS