Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. at 15,940 polling stations. At stake, nine constituencies in Howrah, eleven in South 24 Parganas, five in Alipurduar, nine in Coochbehar and ten in Hooghly
Representative image. PTI
The curtains have fallen on the fourth phase of the high-decibel election campaign, for 44 seats in the assembly slated for in five districts of West Bengal on April 10 (Saturday), ended Thursday at 5 p.m.
A total of 1,15,81,022 voters, including 58,82,514 men, 56,98,218 women and 290 members of the third sex, will decide the fate of 373 candidates in Saturday’s poll in the constituencies spread over Howrah (Part II), South 24 Parganas (Part III), Hooghly (Part II) in South Bengal and in North Bengal Alipurduar and Coochbehar.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. at 15,940 polling stations. At stake are nine Assembly constituencies in Howrah, eleven in South 24 Parganas, five in Alipurduar, nine in Coochbehar and ten in Hooghly.
According to All India Radio, all COVID-19[female[feminine protocols including the wearing of masks, thermal screening would be followed during the ballot on Saturday.
Among those whose fate will be decided in the scuffle are former Bengal captain Ranji Manoj Tiwary, TMC candidate from Shibpur, state education minister and sitting MP for Behala Paschim Partha Chatterjee and minister BJP central Babul Supriyo who locked horns with the state sports minister. Arup Biswas for the Tollygunge headquarters.
Ratna Chatterjee, wife of former city mayor and fire minister Sovan Chatterjee, who left Mamata Banerjee TMC to join BJP for a short time, faces off against actress-turned-BJP politician Payel Sarkar for the headquarters of Behala Purbo
Former state forestry minister Rajib Banerjee, who recently moved to BJP, challenges Domjur while BJP MP and actress Locket Chatterjee challenges Chinsurah polls in Hooghly district.
Sanyukta Morcha, made up of the Left Front, Congress and ISF, featured mainly young faces for the fourth phase of the ballot. The leader of the IPC (M), Sujan Chakraborty, is one of the few seniors aligned by the left for this phase of the elections.
Among the star BJP activists were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, JP Nadda Party Chairman Smriti Irani, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in addition, Bollywood star d yesteryear Mithun Chakraborty who crisscrossed the state trying to strengthen support for the Saffron party.
The BJP leadership targeted the TMC government, its Supreme Leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, his nephew Abhishek Banerjee accusing them of corruption and “appeasement politics” and claimed that their “khela shesh hobe“(the game will be over).
Modi and Shah promised voters the swift implementation of the Ayushman Bharat program, Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi as well as the implementation of the 7th salary commission scale for state government employees in case of voting in the power in West Bengal.
Banerjee, his nephew and Abhishek Party MP were among the star TMC activists who stepped up their attack on the BJP-led central government during the recent price hike for gas, petrol, diesel, and more divestment plans in a large number of power plants. PSU managed by the government.
Banerjee also accused the central police force of harassing and intimidating voters in Bengal and urged voters to “gherao” them in case security officers prevent them from voting.
The fiery TMC leader at a public rally in Tarakeswar, Hooghly district on April 3, also called on the minority community not to divide their voices. This led the Indian Election Commission (ECI) to issue a justification notice in Banerjee for demanding votes on communal grounds.
Taking note of the “sensitive” situation in the 44 Assembly constituencies in Bengal, the ICE has decided to deploy at least 789 CAPF companies. Cooch Behar will have the highest deployment with 187 companies being deployed.
With inputs from PTI