Voting for local elections underway in 5 Indian states

Tuesday, 2021-04-06 16:55:58
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People stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Nagaon district of Assam state, India, March 27, 2021. Voting began in India's eastern states of West Bengal and Assam on April 3 for the first phase of state Assembly polls. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Voting for local elections is underway in India's Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Assam and West Bengal, officials said Tuesday.

The elections in these states are taking place at a time when India is witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Officials said the voting was being held in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol.

Voting began at 7:00 a.m. (local time) in all poll-bound states and will continue until 6:00 p.m. (local time) in Assam, 6:30 p.m. in West Bengal and 7:00 p.m. in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), elections will be completed in a single phase in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, while Assam and West Bengal will be witnessing the third phase.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged voters to vote in record numbers.

In all the five poll-bound places there is tough competition between India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition parties.

Counting of votes in all five states would be carried out on May 2.