Campaigning came to an end on Saturday in the first phase of the West Bengal assembly poll, involving 18 seats across three districts in the state's western part.
This will be the first day of the first phase of election. The second phase of poll in these districts will take place on April 11. There will be six phase election spreading over seven days. The dates are April 4,11, 17, 21, 25 and 30 and May 5. Of these, election will be held in six constituencies in West Midnapore, nine in Purulia and three in Bankura. A total of over 40 lakh people will exercise their franchise on Monday.
The Election Commission has made every arrangement to ensure free and fair election in the area. As these areas were the epicentre of Maoist movement in the state, additional security arrangements have been made.
There will be 4,940 polling stations. The Commission has made extensive campaign urging people to cast their vote without any fear. Central Forces will be deployed to man all the polling stations. The force personnel had been carrying out route march in the area for the past fortnight to build up the confidence of people.
The EC will monitor election from the air by two helicopters. Air ambulance will be kept ready to carry ailing polling personnel or voters to the nearest hospital. The election personnel with Electronic Voting Machines ( EVMs) have left for the polling stations under heavy security coverage. The EC has introduced Subhida, a mobile application which the voters can avail in case of any problem. In every booth there will half to one section central force personnel.
In West Midnapore 116 booths while 1040 in Purulia and 706 booths in Bankura have been declared sensitive and there special arrangements have been made. There will be 14 special observers. There will be three police observers for three districts and five expenditure observers in three districts. In addition to this, there will be 667 micro observers. There will be aroun22, 278 polling personnel.
To ensure fair election 210 CCTV cameras have been installed in three districts. There will be 642 live monitoring cameras which will be placed on vehicles. Also, 202 digital cameras will be installed. Exit polls can be held only after May 16.