Last phase of polling begins in West Bengal

Polling began at 7 am today for 35 seats in the eighth phase of the assembly elections in West Bengal amid the rampaging second wave of COVID-19.

Long queues were seen outside most polling booths since early morning, raising concern over the spread of the infection even as the Election Commission said that all precautionary measures are in place.

The state registered its highest single-day spike of 17,207 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, while 77 more people succumbed to the disease. Over 84.77 lakh voters will decide the political fate of 283 candidates in this phase.

Six seats in Malda, 11 each in Murshidabad and Birbhum and seven seats in Kolkata are voting in this phase. Polling is being held across 11,860 centres. The voters will choose among 283 candidates, 35 of whom are women.

The eight-phase elections to the 294-member assembly began on March 27. The votes will be counted on Sunday.