The fate of 191 candidates, will be decided by 73 lakh voters in West Bengal assembly elections 2021 across 30 assembly segments. Starting today, voting will take place in eight phases for 294 seats.
Total 73,80,942 voters will be exercising their franchise in the first phase today. There are 37,52,938 male and 36,27,949 female voters, while there are 55 third gender voters.
Amid strict COVID-19 guidelines, polling is taking place In the first phase in all nine seats in Purulia, four in Bankura, four in Jhargram and six in Paschim Medinipur, besides the seven seats in high-stakes Purba Medinipur.
Voting amid COVID-19
The elections started amid tight security with the election commission deploying around 684 companies of central forces that would guard 10,288 polling booths housed in 7,061 premises.
Purba Medinipur district election officials said, "We've 509 vulnerable booths in our district. We've deployed 169 companies. We're monitoring booths with CAPF & non-CPF measures. Over 50% of polling booths have a webcasting facility & CCTV, videographer. We've 800 micro-observers for phase 1"
According to the election commission of India, 24.61% voter turnout recorded till 11 am in the first phase of polling.
Mamata Banerjee said: "The first phase is on and with this begins the process of BJP phasing out. In my party, there were two traitors. The Father and Son duo have been working against us. I congratulate the women of the State. They have thwarted their attempts to distribute money"
She further accused Amit Shah of trying to conduct the election. "I respect Election Commission but Amit Shah is trying to control the election" she added.
For which BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh said, "TMC knows that it is losing and that's why it is saying all this. For such complaints, TMC should go to the Election Commission. TMC and Mamata Banerjee are under pressure and that is why they are saying such things".