Bengal, 20 May: About 64.15 per cent people cast their votes in the seventh and the last phase of elections, held in 59 seats across eight states on Sunday.
Bengal witnessed crude bombs, lathicharge and claims of attacks on the BJP candidates. Rival groups threw crude bombs at Bhatpara and were brought under control only when the police used batons. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Central forces should stay in the state till counting.
Voting took place on 13 seats of Punjab and an equal number of seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and one in Chandigarh. A bypoll was held in Goa's Panaji, made necessary by the death of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in March. Bye-elections were also held in four assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu -- Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Thiruparankundram -- and the Dehri assembly seat in Bihar. The most heated battle took place in Bengal where rival groups threw crude bombs during by-polls for Bengal's Bhatpara assembly seat. The clash came under control only after the police used batons. Two BJP candidates from Kolkata and one from Diamond Harbour claimed they were attacked.
Among the main contestants in this phase was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking re-election from Varanasi. Polling was also held on 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh - all in the eastern part of the state - and on all 13 seats of Congress-ruled Punjab.