WB Polls: Seventh Phase Concludes With 75.06% Turnout
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cast her vote in Kolkata, in her home turf, Bhowanipore.
Polling for the seventh phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections concluded on Monday, 26 April, with a voter turnout of 75.06 percent, as per the Election Commission.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cast her vote in Kolkata, in her home turf Bhowanipore, where she is a sitting MLA.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate from Bhowanipore Sovandeb Chattopadhyay cast his vote at the Manmatha Nath Nandan Boys’ and Girls’ School polling booth.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee earlier cast his vote at Mitra Institution in Bhowanipore, Kolkata. “Extremely confident that Mamata Banerjee will be back with 2/3rd majority. People are dying, but the EC is conducting an eight-phase poll to benefit a particular party,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Seveth Phase of Polling
The fate of 284 candidates across 34 Assembly constituencies will be decided by close to 86 lakh voters. Six constituencies each went to polls in Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda districts, four in Kolkata and nine in Paschim Bardhaman and Murshidabad districts. Four out of 34 seats have been reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates and two for Scheduled Tribe candidates.
The penultimate phase of the elections came amid a raging second wave of COVID-19 and heightened security measures in view of the violence in the previous phases, particularly the death of five people in Cooch Behar during the fourth round of polling on 10 April, according to an Election Commission official.
Polling was initially scheduled for 36 seats, but elections in Murshidabad district’s Shamsherganj and Jangipur were postponed due to the demise of Samyukt Morcha candidates in these seats.
At least 796 companies of Central forces had been deployed in the seventh phase to ensure free and fair voting, a poll body official had said. The Central forces were also deployed to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 measures.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the voters to exercise their franchise on Twitter, saying:
Don't Worry About COVID: Mamata on Poll Eve
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday, 25 April, had said that the COVID patients in the state "should vote" and that she has asked the Chief Secretary to make arrangements for this purpose.
"Don't worry about COVID. I am your pehradar (watchman)," she had said on the eve of the polls. She also added, "I am doing more COVID meetings than campaign meets.”
On Thursday, 22 April, the Election Commission had revoked permission for all big election rallies a few hours after PM Modi announced that he was cancelling public rallies in view of COVID-19.
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