West Bengal votes in eighth phase of assembly polls, PM Modi urges voters to follow Covid norms

West Bengal votes in the eighth phase of the assembly elections on Thursday. Polling began at 7 am for 35 seats amid the rampaging second wave of Covid-19. Long queues were seen outside most polling booths since early morning. Election Commission has said all precautionary measures are in place in view of Covid-19. Bengal recorded its highest single-day spike of 17,207 cases on Wednesday, while 77 died. Over 84.77 lakh voters will decide the political fate of 283 candidates in this phase. PM Modi urged people to cast their votes and reminded them to follow Covid protocols. Security measures have been heightened in view of the violence in the previous phases. EC has deployed 641 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting. Voting, which will continue till 6.30 pm, is being held at 11,860 polling stations. Polling is being held across Murshidabad, Birbhum, Malda and north Kolkata. The eight-phase polls to the 294-member assembly began on March 27, the result on May 2.