Voters show their voter-ID card as they arrive to cast their vote during the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly election at Nandigram, in East Midnapore on Thursday. (ANI/File photo)
By Saibal Gupta :
WITH over one-fourth of the booths registering a polling percentage above 90, West Bengal’s Nandigram has seen the highest turnout in recent years. Election Commission data on Saturday shows that Nandigram registered a polling percentage of 88.01, marginally better than the last three elections in the State. A booth wise detailed summary released by the Commission showed that though East Midnapore district recorded a polling percentage of 87.4 but Nandigram had a voter turnout of 88.01 per cent, which is a shade better than the district average.
Not only the district average but the democratic euphoria of the people has overshadowed its performance in the last few elections. In the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and 2019 Nandigram recorded a polling percentage of 85.7 and 85 respectively and in the last Assembly polls it had a polling percentage of 86.9. Only in the 2011 Assembly polls when Mamata Banerjee swept to power riding on the land reforms movement, Nandigram with 88.3 per cent fared better than this election. “There is no doubt that the high-voltage election duel between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari mobilised the voters to polling booths but there are other factors that also should be taken into consideration.
There are around 2,57,000 voters in Nandigram of which 2,27,000 voters have turned out to exercise their franchise. According to the data available, of these voters, 54,000 are Muslim voters and the rest 1,73,000 are Hindu voters. This itself shows that 83 per cent of Muslim voters have cast their franchise where more than 92 per cent Hindu voters have exercised their democratic right. In a place like Nandigram, where the voters have been polarised this will definitely become a deciding factor,” psephologist Biswanath Chakraborty told IANS.