Polling in West Bengal began on Thursday for 35 seats in the eighth phase of the assembly elections amid the second wave of COVID-19.
Since early morning, long queues were seen outside most polling booths raising concern over the spread of the infection even as the Election Commission said that all precautionary measures are taken place.
Over 84.77 lakh voters will decide the political fate of 283 candidates in this phase.
The state registered its highest single-day spike of 17,207 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, while 77 more people succumbed to the disease.
Security measures have been intensified in view of the violence in the previous phases, particularly the death of five people in Cooch Behar in the fourth round of polling on April 10, an EC official said.
The poll panel has deployed 641 companies of central forces in the final phase to ensure free and fair voting, he said.
Voting is being held at 11,860 polling stations spread over 11 assembly constituencies each in Murshidabad and Birbhum, six in Malda and seven in north Kolkata.
The poll panel has placed Trinamool Congress’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal under strict surveillance till 7 am on Friday, as the chief electoral officer received “several complaints against him”.
The polling will continue till 6.30 pm.