Polling for the fifth and biggest phase of West Bengal assembly elections began at 7 am today across 45 seats amid tight security and a surge in Covid cases.
Over one crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the political fate of 342 candidates. Bengal has already voted for 135 seats and after today's voting, results for more than half of its 294 seats will be sealed.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened in view of the violence in the previous phase, which witnessed the death of at least four persons in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency.
On Thursday, Mamata Banerjee and members of her Trinamool strongly demanded that the three remaining phases - scheduled for April 22, 26 and 29 - be clubbed to check the spread of the coronavirus. However, the Election Commission ruled out clubbing the phases.
The BJP is contesting all 45 seats. The ruling Trinamool will contest 42 with three given to allies Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). The Congress will contest only 11, with alliance partner CPM contesting 25 and the rest given to smaller parties.
Voters queue up outside a polling booth in Dakshineswar, Kolkata.
Voters queue up to cast their votes in West Bengal's Kamarhati.
Polling underway in Darjeeling for the fifth phase of Bengal elections.
Trinamool leader Madan Mitra casts his vote at a polling booth in Kamarhati.