A Communist Party of India (Marxist) worker was killed on Thursday after a crude bomb was hurled at him in Jitpur village in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, which went to the polls in the third phase of the state Assembly elections. The crude bomb was allegedly hurled by a Trinamool Congress worker, reported ANI, following clashes between supporters of the TMC and CPI(M). This happened despite one lakh security personnel being deployed to monitor areas that went to the polls, including 75,000 central armed police forces and 25,000 state police officers.

Voting for the third of the six-phase West Bengal elections began at 7 am on Thursday. A voter turnout of 79.22% was recorded till 5 pm. There were 62 seats up for grabs in this phase, spread across the districts of Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan and seven constituencies in Kolkata, reported PTI. An electorate of more than 1.37 crore was to decide the fate of 418 candidates, including 34 women.

The Election Commission had identified 3,401 vulnerable hamlets in the phase. The state has seen a huge number of violent incidents in the run-up to the elections, including political leaders being shot, and several cases of violence on days of polling as well.

Among the candidates contesting this phase are Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Rahul Sinha, five-time Congress MLA Mohammad Sohrab, TMC's Shashi Panja and Sadhan Pande, and Anisur Rahman of CPI(M).

The ruling TMC has been under pressure ahead of this phase, with the EC serving a show-cause notice to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for violating the Model Code of Conduct during an election rally. However, Banerjee said the EC's decision will in turn help her party retain power. The flyover collapse in North Kolkata last month, in which 27 people were killed, has also been a major talking point ahead of the elections.