First phase of voting begins in Assam and West Bengal

Bengal and Assam began voting today in the first phase of Assembly elections for each state. Voting is taking place in 30 seats in Bengal and 47 in Assam.

In Bengal, the ruling Trinamool and the opposition BJP – who have waged an often vicious campaign over the past few weeks – will each be eager to make a strong start. The Congress-Left alliance – widely expected to finish a distant third – is also in the mix.

In Assam the BJP faces a challenge from the Congress-led ‘mahajot‘, or ‘grand alliance’ to retain power. In the 2016 Bengal election the Trinamool won 26 of these 30 seats. In Assam, the BJP claimed 35 of 47.

Polling booths across both states opened at 7 am and close at 6 pm; polling has been extended by an hour due to the Covid pandemic. In Assam, a voter turnout of 11.05 per cent was recorded till 11 am. In Bengal the turnout was 15.75 per cent.