Amid a raging second wave of COVID-19, 45 assembly constituencies go to polls in the fifth phase of the West Bengal assembly polls 2021.
Security measures have been heightened for phase five in view of the violence in the previous phase, which witnessed the death of five people in Cooch Behar, including four in Central Industrial Security Force firing.
The Election Commission has decided to deploy at least 853 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting, an official of the poll panel said.
Voting will be held at 15,789 polling stations in the 45 constituencies 16 seats in North 24 Parganas, eight each in Purba Bardhaman and Nadia, seven in Jalpaiguri, five in Darjeeling and one in Kalimpong district.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had earlier urged the EC to consider conducting the polls for the remaining assembly seats at one go in the wake of the emerging COVID-19 situation, held several public meetings and roadshows in most of the seats in the run-up to the fifth phase.
Campaigning for the fifth phase ended on Wednesday with the EC having increased the ‘silence period’ from 48 to 72 hours in view of the Cooch Behar violence.
Elections have been held in 135 constituencies so far, and the remaining 159 seats are set to go to polls between April 17 and 29.