Over 75 per cent polling in eighth phase brings to an end the longest Assembly election ever in West Bengal

Published : April 29, 2021 22:29 IST

At a polling station in Kolkata North during the eighth and last phase of polling for the Assembly election, on April 29. Photo: Arko Datto/Bloomberg

The eighth phase of the Assembly election in West Bengal on April 29, finally brought to an end the most long-drawn election battle the State has ever seen. The election began on March 27 and stretched out for over a month. People in 35 seats from the districts of Malda (6), Birbhum (11), Murshidabad (11) and Kolkata North (7) voted in the eighth phase amid a raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The voting percentage till 5 p.m. was quite high, except in Kolkata. The overall polling percentage stood at 76.07 per cent, with Birbhum recording the highest percentage of 81.87, followed by Malda (80.06), Murshidabad (78.07) and Kolkata (57.53). Though the polling was largely peaceful, a few incidents of violence were reported from Birbhum and parts of Kolkata. In Nanoor, Birbhum, villagers alleged that Trinamool miscreants had confiscated their voter cards and were not allowing them to go and cast their votes. Several clashes between workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were reported in Ilambazar in Bolpur and parts of Kolkata. In some areas the Central forces and the police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse crowds. A total of 835 people were arrested. The counting of the votes will take place on May 2.

Meanwhile, the daily COVID cases continued to scale new peaks with 17,403 new cases and 89 people dead on April 29. The total number of active COVID cases stood at 1,14,670, and the total number of people who have lost their lives to the coronavirus stood at 11,337 in the State. The highest number of new cases were recorded in North 24 Parganas (3,912), followed by Kolkata (3,901), South 24 Parganas (990), Hooghly (930), Howrah (927) and Paschim Bardhaman (893).

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