Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: Amid fears over the massive spike in COVID-19 cases, the polling for the seventh phase of assembly elections in West Bengal that will decide the fate of several political heavyweight candidates ended on Monday with a voter turnout of 75.06 per cent, according to the voter turnout app of the election commission.

The maximum turnout was reported at Raninagar at 84.35 per cent, followed by Bhagabangola at 83.50 per cent and Murshidabad at 83.01 per cent. The lowest turnout, on the other hand, was recorded at Rashbehari at 55.93 per cent.

Meanwhile, Asansol Uttar saw a turnout of 67.08 per cent, Asansol Dakshin 69.39 per cent, Durgapur Paschim 71.24 per cent, Jamuria 72.43 per cent, Kolkata Port 64.09 per cent and Raniganj 70.83 per cent.

The seventh phase of polling, which was held across 34 assembly constituencies, will decide the fate of 284 candidates, including TMC's Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Firhad Hakim and BJP's Lt General (Retired) Subrata Saha and Rudranil Ghosh.

For this phase, the election commission had deployed 796 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting. The EC, following the massive surge in coronavirus cases in West Bengal, had also banned roadshows and vehicle rallies in the state and noted that the COVID safety norms were being flouted in the state.

The Election Commission has curtailed daily campaign hours and extended the "silence period" from 48 hours to 72 in each of the remaining three phases of the assembly polls in view of the Cooch Behar violence and the rising COVID-19 cases.

The TMC chief 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 April 23.

Polling for two assembly seats in Samserganj and Jangipur in Murshidabad district has been declared void following the deaths of two candidates there. The EC has fixed May 16 for the polling in these two seats.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma