The last and eighth phase of election for 35 assembly constituencies in West Bengal is scheduled tomorrow. As many as 84,77,728 voters are eligible to decide the fate of 283 candidates contesting in the six constituencies of Malda, 11 each in Murshidabad and Birbhum and Seven constituencies in Kolkata North.
Voting will be held between 7.00am and 6.30 pm in 11,860 polling booths. Security measures have been heightened in view of the violence in the previous phases, particularly the death of five people in Cooch Behar in the fourth round of polling on April 10.
The poll panel has decided to deploy 641 companies of central forces in the eighth phase to ensure free and fair voting. Among these companies 224 are deployed in Birbhum district, 212 in Murshidabad, 110 in Malda and 95 companies in North Kolkata.
Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal has been put under the strict surveillance of the Election Commission till Friday 7 am. The TMC leader was placed under similar surveillance during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2016 assembly polls.
AIR Correspondent reports, the poll panel has also taken measures to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the voting process tomorrow. Only 1000 voters are allotted for each booth to avoid crowding. The measures were taken to vaccinate polling personnel.
The EC had banned road shows and vehicle rallies in the state. It also disallowed any public meeting with more than 500 people. It had also curtailed daily campaign hours and extended the ‘silence period’ from 48 hours to 72 in the last three phases. Masks, gloves and sanitizers in each booth was made mandatory.
The Election Commission of India had banned yesterday all victory processions on or after the day of the counting of votes, on May 2 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.