Final phase of Bengal Polls begins as virus cases hit record high

The eighth and final phase of voting is being held in Bengal today amid the growing menace of Covid that is spreading fast in the state. The election is being held on 35 seats lying across Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum and Kolkata.

The state has recorded an average of around 80 per cent polling. While a straight fight is expected between the BJP and the TMC on most of the seats, the CPI (M)-Congress-ISF alliance has made the battle triangular on several seats. Six seats in Malda, 11 each in Murshidabad and Birbhum and seven seats in Kolkata are voting in this phase. Polling is being held across 11,860 centres. The voters will choose among 283 candidates, 35 of whom are women. Over 84.77 lakh electorates, including 41.21 lakh women and 158 third gender persons, would be casting their votes at as many as 11,860 polling stations in the 8th phase of polling. The Bengal Legislative Assembly has 294 seats while the majority mark is 148. The counting of votes for the West Bengal Assembly will be held on May 2. The state registered its highest single-day spike of 17,207 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, while 77 more people succumbed to the disease.