KOLKATA: The voter turnout for the seventh and penultimate phase of the high-stakes West Bengal assembly elections reached 37.72 per cent at 12 am on Monday.
Among the districts, Murshidabad recorded the highest turnout with 42.41 per cent, while Malda and Dakshin Dinajpur registered 39.96 per cent and 39.70 per cent respectively.
Chanchal recorded the highest percentage of voters among all constituencies at 48 per cent while Rashbehari and Bhowanipore recorded 27.45 per cent and 28.31 per cent respectively.
Earlier in the day, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) polling agent Sankar Sakar alleged that he was forcefully pushed out of booth number 91 by members of the ruling Trinamool Congress and made to leave the spot in Bakhra village of Ratua, Malda.
"TMC members, who are residents of the village, told me that they won't let me there as I'm not a voter there. They forcefully pushed me out. I was threatened by them," he told ANI.
However, a TMC member said that Sankar was asked to leave the polling booth respectfully as he was not a voter there and that nobody threatened him.
As polls were underway, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew slammed the BJP for mishandling the COVID-19 response and exuded confidence that his aunt will secure a two-third majority in the assembly.
After casting his vote in Bhowanipore, Abhishek Banerjee told the media: "From whatever little I have gathered from my own experience and wisdom, I am extremely confident that Mamata Banerjee is going to come back with a two-thirds majority. We have complete faith in the people."
A total of 268 candidates, including 37 women, are in the fray in this phase of the West Bengal elections.
Polling for the eighth and final phase will be held on April 29 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.