In the poll-bound states of Assam and West Bengal, polling for the Second Phase of Assembly Elections began today at 7.00 A.M. The polling will be conducted till 6.00 P.M. in Assam while it will continue till 6.30 P.M. in West Bengal. All the necessary facilities and security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling during this phase. The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is being used along with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at every Polling Station, with a view to enhance the transparency and credibility of the election process. The availability of adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs has already been ensured for the smooth conduct of elections.
In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the option of Postal Ballot facility has been extended to the electors who are COVID- 19 positive or suspect as certified by competent authority and are in home or institutional quarantine along with those marked as Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and above the age of 80 years. It has also been ensured that every Polling Station is equipped with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, waiting shed, toilet with water facility, adequate arrangements for lighting, ramp of appropriate gradient for the Persons with Disabilities. The special facilities include mandatory sanitization of Polling Station, thermal checking of voters at entry point either by polling staff or paramedical staff or an Asha worker. If temperature is above the set norms of Health Ministry, then the elector will be provided with token and asked to come for voting at the last hour of poll. At the last hour of poll, such electors will be facilitated for voting, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures.
Polling is going on peacefully in the second phase of assembly elections in 30 seats across 4 districts in West Bengal. It is being held at 9 seats each in East and West Medinipur, 8 seats in Bankura and 4 seats in South 24 Parganas.
Polling began at 7am in the morning, it will continue till 6.30 pm in the evening. People in large numbers are seen standing in queues from this morning. All covid protocols are being followed.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling. A total of 651 companies of central forces have been deployed in 30 constituencies, 210 at West Medinipur and 199 companies at East Medinipur.