West Bengal election phase 7 voting LIVE updates: The BJP chief also accused the TMC of unleashing violence in Bengal during poll campaign. He condemned the 'murderous attack' on BJP candidate Gopal Chandra Saha, saying that people will answer 'bullets with ballots'
Voters at a polling station. ANI
West Bengal election phase 7 voting LATEST News and Updates: BJP president JP Nadda on Monday accused Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee of misleading people of West Bengal on various issues, ranging from "insider-outsider" to Covid vaccination during the campaigning for the assembly elections in the state
Parno Mitra, BJP candidate from Baranagar in North 24 Parganas, tested positive for COVID-19 .
Two BJP polling agents entered a booth in Ballygunge, while the party workers threatened locals and barred the way to a polling booth in Harishchandrapur, according to India Today.
BJP candidate from Asansol Dakshin constituency Agnimitra Paul alleged that a Trinamool Congress polling agent was wearing a cap with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's photo on it, at polling booth in Baktarnagar High School.
The seventh phase of polling in the West Bengal Assembly election will be held today (26 April) amid tight security arrangements and COVID-19 safety protocols.
A total of 86,78,221 voters — 44,44,634 male and 42,33,358 women and 229 from the third gender — are eligible to exercise their franchise in the 34 constituencies spread across Malda (Part I), Kolkata Dakshin, Murshidabad (Part I), Paschim Bardhaman (Part 1) and Dakshin Dinajpur districts.
Polling will be held between 7 am to 6.30 pm as in other phases at 12,068 polling stations in nine Assembly constituencies each in Murshidabad and Paschim Bardhaman districts, six each in Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda districts four in Kolkata Dakshin.
Polling for two Assembly seats in Samserganj and Jangipur has been declared void following the deaths of two candidates there.
The Election Commission has fixed 16 May for the polling in these two seats.
The focus in this phase of polling will be on seats in the southern part of the city, mainly Bhabanipore which is the stronghold of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
While the fiery Banerjee has contested from Nandigram this time, she nominated one of her senior most party leaders Sovandeb Chattopadhyay from Bhabanipore. BJP has fielded actor-turned-politician Rudranil Ghosh from the seat.
From Rashbehari the saffron party has named Lt Gen (Dr) Subrata Saha against TMC's Debasish Kumar. The state minister and city mayor Firhad Hakim will test his luck from Kolkata Port constituency where he will lock horns with BJP's Awadh Kishore Gupta and Congress' Mohammed Mukhtar.
Focus will also be on polling at Balurghat, Malda, Chanchal, Harishchandrapur as well as in Lalgola, Murshidabad and Farakka seats.
Following the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, the EC has banned road shows and vehicle rallies in the state with immediate effect. It also noted that COVID safety norms were being flouted in West Bengal during campaigning.
It also disallowed any public meeting with more than 500 people.
Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the party MP, cancelled all their scheduled rallies and held them on the virtual platform as did Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 April.
During the physical campaign rallies rivals TMC and BJP hit out at each other.
The BJP leaders in their campaigns attacked Banerjee, her nephew Abhishek alleging involvement of party leaders in the Saradha and Narada tapes scams to the recent allegations of siphoning of funds allocated for Amphan cyclone and the COVID-19 pandemic relief.
The BJP leaders maintained that corruption and anarchy are prevalent in West Bengal and that the party will put an end to it after coming to power in the state.
Top BJP leaders such as Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, party president JP Nadda, Smriti Irani held several rallies and public meetings in different parts of the Assembly constituencies for this phase of poll.
With inputs from PTI