India's West Bengal State Sees High Turnout in First Phase of Polls

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The first phase of assembly elections in West Bengal, India have wrapped up. And voter turnout was high, reaching 75 percent. Just a few minor incidents were reported during the day.

India's Deputy Election Commissioner says voter turnout was nearly 75 percent in the first phase of assembly elections in India's West Bengal state with no major incidents reported.

[Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Election Commissioner]:
"There are reports of long queues, there were rains which are taking place in various parts of phase one, even just now and it is expected that as usual, when the final figures come, they will be quite higher than what the figures are."

He says there was no violence and only some minor obstructions to voters including 92 electronic voting machines that had to be replaced during the day.

[Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Election Commissioner]:
"We had deployed a total of 57,048 personnel; this is the polling personnel which were deployed in the station, inside the polling station, rest of the staff in the form of sector officers, sector mobiles and supervisory officers were other than this."

The West Bengal state, with its 294 member legislature, will have assembly elections in six phases, the last being on May 10.

Analysts believe the outcome of the polls in West Bengal will be crucial for national politics.

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