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West Bengal (WB) Assembly Election Phase 8 Voting Tomorrow: West Bengal will vote tomorrow, i.e. April 29, in 8th phase of polls. Over 84 lakh eligible voters will decide the fate of 283 candidates across 35 assembly constituencies. Voting will be held at 11,860 polling stations spread over 11 assembly constituencies each in Murshidabad and Birbhum, six in Malda and seven in Kolkata. The voting will start at 7 am and will continue till 6.30 pm.
The voting will be held amid raging COVID-19 crisis. West Bengal has reported 16,403 fresh COVID-19 cases yesterday, the highest-single day spike recorded in the state so far, pushing the tally to 7,76,345. The death toll climbed to 11,082 with 73 more fatalities.
All eyes will be on Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal as he is under the strict surveillance of the Election Commission. Mondal has been placed under surveillance till Friday 7 am, as the chief electoral officer in the state has received “several complaints against him”, an EC official said. The TMC leader was placed under similar surveillance during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2016 assembly polls.
Security measures have been heightened in view of the violence in the previous phases. The Election Commission has decided to deploy at least 641 companies of central forces, including 224 in Birbhum district to ensure free and fair voting.
Three-cornered contests are expected in many of the 17 constituencies in Malda and Murshidabad districts where the Left-Congress-ISF combine has a stronghold apart from the TMC and the BJP.
The poll panel will also put in place measures to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the voting process, the official told PTI.
Leaders of political parties chose either the virtual platform or small street-corner meetings for campaigning, which ended on April 26 evening. TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of mishandling the second wave of COVID-19 and providing inadequate vaccines to the state. BJP president J P Nadda denied Baneree’s allegations and attacked her for not attending the crucial meetings convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the COVID situation.
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