Polling underway for 6th phase of assembly elections in West Bengal

Amid surge in coronavirus cases in the country, polling for the sixth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal started at 7 am and will end at 6.30 pm.

In all 306 candidates including 27 women are in the fray for 43 Assembly seats spread over four districts. Ruling AITC and BJP are contesting all 43 seats.

Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha.

The Election Commission has decided to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) along with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at every polling station, with a view to enhance the transparency and credibility of the election process.

In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Election Commission has decided to allow maximum 1,000 electors in a polling station instead of earlier stipulation of 1,500 electors.

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 will be 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 will 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.