oi-Ajay Joseph Raj P
New Delhi, Apr 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged eligible voters in West Bengal to exercise their franchise as the sixth phase of assembly polls got underway in the state.
Polling began at 7 am on Thursday for 43 seats, including 17 in North 24 Parganas district and nine in Nadia — most of which have a significant presence of the Matuas, who can decisively sway the results in any party’s favour.
Besides, elections are also being held on the nine seats of Uttar Dinajpur district and eight of Purba Bardhaman. PM Modi tweeted, “The people of West Bengal are voting to elect a new assembly. On the sixth phase today, urging those whose seats are polling to exercise their franchise.”
A staggering 1,071 companies of central forces have been deployed in this phase to ensure free and fair voting, officials said.
Each company of central force has around 100 personnel and officers.
The voting is being held in 14,480 polling stations in the 43 assembly segments in the four districts.
Polling will continue till 6.30 pm, officials said.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are being held in eight phases, starting on March 27. Votes will be counted on May 2 with the last phase scheduled to be held on April 29.