Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 26 (ANI): The seventh phase of West Bengal assembly polls was held peacefully with an estimated voter turnout of 75.06 per cent till 5 pm on Monday, according to the Election Commission.
Voting began at 7 am on Monday amid tight security and concluded at 6 pm.
Voting was held in 11,376 polling stations spread across 34 assembly constituencies in five districts.
Among the 34 constituencies that went to polls in Phase-VII, six are in Dakshin Dinajpur, six in Malda, nine in Murshidabad, nine in Paschim Bardhaman and four in Kolkata.
Among the five districts, Murshidabad recorded the highest voter turnout of 80.37 per cent till 5 pm. The lowest voter turnout was observed in Kolkata South with 60.03 per cent.
Constituency-wise, Raninagar in the Murshidabad district recorded the highest voter turnout of 84.35 per cent followed by Bhagabangola at 83.50 per cent. Rashbehari constituency in Kolkata witnessed the lowest voter turnout at 55.93 per cent.
As many as 268 candidates, including 37 women, were in the fray in this phase of the assembly elections.
In Phase-VII, there were 81,88,907 voters, including 39,88,239 women and 221 of the third gender. The total number of PwD electors and electors over 80 years of age are 50,919 and 1,01,689 respectively. A total of 11,376 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,376 Control Units (CUs) and 11,376 VVPATs were used in this phase of polling.
5982 out of 11,376 polling stations were monitored live through webcasting.
Briefing the mediapersons, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of West Bengal, Aariz Aftab said, "The Commission expresses gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process today. Commission particularly thanks PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honoring COVID protocol norms. For the safety of the voters and the election officials, it was ensured that the polling stations were sanitized one day prior to poll and the facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks were also made available at the polling stations. Proper arrangements for social distancing were put in place."
"The Commission also recognizes the services of the entire electoral machinery including polling staff on duty, security personnel, supervisory staff, Observers, Special Observers, Railway Authorities, enforcement agencies and also the health authorities for making comprehensive arrangements and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections despite pandemic. The Commission solicits active cooperation, close collaboration and constructive partnership from all stakeholders including media for delivering smooth and peaceful elections," added the CEO.
Ruling TMC and BJP contested on all 34 seats. Congress, the Left parties and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) have forged an alliance and are contesting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha. Out of the 34 seats in this round, Congress got 18 in its share, CPI(M) got 12, RSP three, AIFB got one and ISF got four seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also tried its luck and fielded 25 candidates.
Polling for the eighth and final phase will be held on April 29 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)