Kolkata, Apr 25: Polling for the 91 civic bodies in West Bengal began at 7 am today amid tight security. "Polling has begun smoothly at 7 am amid tight security.
A total of 35 companies of central forces, besides state forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling," State Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay said.
Altogether 91 observers and four special observers would directly monitor the entire polling process, besides a number of micro-observers in sensitive polling stations.
Nearly 74 lakh people will cast their votes, while a total of 7636 candidates will try their luck at the hustings. Polling is being held in 8,756 polling stations, of which 2,318 have been identified as sensitive and 2,142 as hyper sensitive, Upadhyay said.
The election would be a test of Trinamool Congress' popularity among the urban electorate, while CPI-M and the other Left parties would be able to find out whether their efforts to woo back the voters have paid off.
For BJP, aspiring to become a major force in the state since the Lok Sabha election, the civic poll would be a test of its popularity graph while Congress, which has witnessed desertion in its rank, is trying hard to retain some pockets.