As polling began in 44 seats in the fourth phase of West Bengal Assembly elections on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief minister Mamata Banerjee urged citizens to vote in large numbers.
"As the 4th phase of the West Bengal elections begin, urging the people voting today to do so in record numbers. I would especially request the youth and women to vote in large numbers," PM Modi said in a tweet soon after the polling began at 7am amid tight security.
"I urge my brothers and sisters in Bengal to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic rights today," Mamata Banerjee's tweet read.
In view of the violence witnessed during and after the last three phases, the election commission (EC) deployed 793 companies of central armed police force (CAPF) in these regions. Results will be announced on May 2. The BJP is looking to oust the TMC, which is hoping for its third consecutive term.
As on 9.30am, the voter turnout was 15.85%, according to the Voter Turnout application.
As many as 1,15,81,022 voters will decide the fate of the total 373 candidates in the fray in this phase.
Union minister Babul Supriyo, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee, Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee and a handful of Trinamool Congress (TMC) turncoats will be among the candidates in the fray as 44 seats in West Bengal vote in the fourth phase of the assembly elections.
Five districts - Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly - go to polls in Phase 4.
Elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal, being held in eight phases, will conclude on April 29.
The fifth phase of the assembly elections will commence on April 17 and the results will be announced on May 2.