West Bengal recorded 79.79% voter turnout in the first phase of the Assembly election on Saturday.

Voting was held on Saturday for 30 Assembly seats, out of a total of 294 seats.

“The voter turnout reported by 5pm from the 30 AC of phase 1 in West Bengal is 79.79%,” the Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a statement.

West Bengal Assembly election will be held in eight phases.

The counting of votes will be conducted on May 2, 2021.

The prominent candidates contesting the polls include Sukhamoy Satpati, actress June Maliah, four-time Congress MLA from Baghmundi seat Nepal Mahato and Sanjukta Morcha’s Susanta Ghosh.

The polling in the first phase of the Bengal Assembly election passed off amid tight security.

The Election Commission has deployed around 730 companies of central forces, guarding 10,288 polling booths in West Bengal.

Election Commission has expressed gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process on Saturday.

Commission particularly thanked PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honouring COVID protocol norms.

The first phase of West Bengal Assembly election was conducted successfully across 21825 Polling Stations spread over 77 Assembly Constituencies on Saturday, the EC said.

There are 191 candidates in the electoral fray.

The Commission laid great emphasis on ensuring transparent and vigilant mechanism for inducement and intimidation free elections.

“As a major push in conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism for more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths was put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas,” the EC stated.

As an initiative towards inclusive and accessible elections, the option of postal ballot facility has been extended to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services, it added.

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