02:46 GMT18 May 2021
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    India’s West Bengal is among the five states in the country that have been holding assembly elections since 27 March. The elections being held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, and Puducherry have been divided into eight phases and the counting of all states' results will be declared on 2 May.

    India's West Bengal state on Thursday entered into the sixth phase of ongoing assembly elections. Residents of 43 constituencies across four districts --Uttar Dinajpur, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman – are visiting the polling booths to cast their votes despite  over 63,000 active COVID cases in the state as well as reports of violent incidents.

    Photos of masked voters lining up in queues following social distancing protocols in West Bengal have surfaced on social media.

    ​There is a sense of panic amongst voters in the North 24 Parganas district because this morning, the body of an unidentified man with stab wounds was recovered from a pond located in the city’s Habra region.

    In the same city, a local leader of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) reportedly suffered injuries following an alleged violent encounter with members of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has denied all such allegations.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to urge voters to exercise their rights in West Bengal’s poll-bound regions.

    ​West Bengal Assembly polls are being held for a total of 294 seats.

    In recent days, Prime Minister Modi along with Home Minister Amit Shah and other prominent BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath have toured West Bengal, campaigning for their party. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently cancelled all his roadshows and rallies in the state in the light of the rising cases. West Bengal's current state chief Mamata Banerjee also ditched campaign rallies amid COVID cases. 

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