Overall, 21.64 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 9 AM in six districts of north Bengal and in Birbhum in south Bengal. In North Dinajpur, 24 percent votes were cast while in South Dinajpur it was 25.33 percent. In Darjeeling it was 19 percent, Jalpaiguri 20.45 percent, Malda 18.32 percent, Alipurduar 20.66 percent and Birbhum 23.69 percent.
     
A clash between BJP and TMC workers today left eight persons injured in Dumrut village in Birbhum district at around 6 AM before polling began, police said. Three workers from both sides were arrested, they said. Meanwhile, TMC candidate from Siliguri assembly constituency Baichung Bhutia has complained of bogus votes being cast at Sriguru Vidayapith booth. The TMC has registered the complaint with the EC.
    
Bhutia, former Indian football captain, is pitted against Siliguri Mayor and former CPI(M) minister Ashok Bhattacharya. In Malda, a presiding officer in booth no: 163 in Englishbazar assembly segment was removed after the CPI(M) complained that the officer was allegedly working in favour of Trinamool Congress and allowing impersonation of votes.
    
The District Election Officer has ordered his removal and replacement.Tension also prevailed at Sian village under Nanoor constituency in Birbhum and at Kankartala village under Dubrajpur constituency with the Forward Bloc alleging that their agents were threatened by the Trinamool Congress.
    
In Jalpaiguri district, the CPI(M) has complained that their polling agent was not being allowed to enter a booth in Rajganj (SC) constituency by Trinamool Congress workers, a charge denied by the latter.

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