|In the poll-bound West Bengal, polling for the Eighth and Final Phase of Assembly Elections is progressing smoothly. The average voter turnout was registered at 37.80 per cent till 11.30 A.M. The polling, which began at 7.00 A.M., will be conducted till 6.30 P.M. in 35 Assembly Constituencies spread over four districts going to polls today. Along with this, a re-poll is also being held at Polling Station No. 126 of Sitalkuchi Assembly seat in Cooch Behar district. The counting of votes will be taken up together on 2nd of May.
In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the option of Postal Ballot facility has been extended to the electors who are COVID- 19 positive or suspect as certified by competent authority and are in home or institutional quarantine along with those marked as Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and above the age of 80 years. The special facilities include mandatory sanitization of Polling Station, thermal checking of voters at entry point either by polling staff or paramedical staff or an Asha worker.
During the Eighth Phase, total 283 candidates including 35 women are vying for the 35 Assembly seats spread over four districts of West Bengal going to polls today. Over 84.77 lakh voters including 41.21 lakh women and 158 Third Gender persons will decide the fate of these candidates. Ruling AITC and Bharatiya Janata Party are contesting for all the 35 seats. Congress, the Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha. Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded 24 candidates, Congress has 19, CPI (M)- 10, ISF – four, AIFB – three and RSP- one while there are 87 independents along with 65 others also in the fray.