In the poll-bound West Bengal, polling for the Fourth Phase of Assembly Elections began on Saturday morning at 7.00 A.M. The polling will be conducted till 6.30 P.M. 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 all Polling Stations with a view to enhance the transparency of the election process. 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. 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.
In all, 373 candidates including 50 women will be vying for the 44 Assembly seats spread over five districts during the Fourth Phase. The state is witnessing eight-phase elections. Over 1.15 crore voters including 56.94 lakh women and 293 Third Gender persons will decide the fate of these candidates. More than 12,310 Polling Stations have been set up for this purpose.Bharatiya Janata Party and ruling AITC are contesting for all the 44 seats while Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha. CPI (M) has fielded 22 candidates, BSP has 13, Congress - nine, AIFB - six, ISF - four, RSP- two and CPI- one.