Current AffairsIndia

Polling begins for fifth phase in West Bengal

Kolkata: Voting for the fifth phase of the eight-phase assembly election in West Bengal began onSaturday morning in 45 of the state’s 294 constituencies amid elaborate security arrangements.

Polling for the fifth phase will be held across six districts and 45 assembly seats. The districts include North Pargana Part I, Darjeeling, Nadia Part I, Kalimpong, East Bardhaman Part I and Jalpaiguri on Saturday

The 45 Assembly Constituencies of West Bengal going to polls in fifth phase are: 1. Dhupguri (SC) 2. Maynaguri (SC) 3. Jalpaiguri (SC) 4. Rajganj (SC) 5. Abgram-Fulbari 6. Mal (ST) 7. Nagrakata (ST) 8. Kalimpong 9. Darjeeling 10. Kurseong 11. Matigara-Naxalbari (SC) 12. Siliguri 13. Phansidewa (ST) 14. Santipur 15. Ranaghat Uttar Paschim 16. Krishnaganj (SC) 17. Ranaghat Uttar Purba (SC) 18. Ranaghat Dakshin (SC) 19. Chakdaha 20. Kalyani (SC) 21. Haringhata (SC) 22. Panihati 23. Kamarhati 24. Baranagar 25. Dum Dum 26. Rajarhat New Town 27. Bidhannagar 28. Rajarhat Gopalpur 29. Madhyamgram 30. Barasat 31. Deganga 32. Haroa 33. Minakhan (SC) 34. Sandeshkhali (ST) 35. Basirhat Dakshin 36. Basirhat Uttar 37. Hingalganj (SC) 38. Khandaghosh (SC) 39. Bardhaman Dakshin 40. Raina (SC) 41. Jamalpur (SC) 42. Monteswar 43. Kalna (SC) 44. Memari 45. Bardhaman Uttar (SC).

In all, 319 candidates including 39 women will be vying for the 45 Assembly seats spread over six districts during the fifth phase. Over 1.12 crore voters including 55.80 lakh women and 234 Third Gender persons will decide the fate of these candidates.

The EC has made elaborate security arrangements with the deployment of central and state forces to ensure a free, fair and peaceful poll.

As the movement of polling personnel began early Friday for their respective voting centers, the deployment of a record 1,071 companies of central armed forces was also in place for the 5th phase polling

The ECI, however, would use 853 companies of central armed forces for the 5th phase and rest would be kept in reserve.

69 companies have been deployed at Barasat, 61 in Barrackpore, 107 for Basirhat, 46 for Bidhannagar, 68 for Darjeeling, 21 for Kalimpong, 122 for Jalpaiguri,11 for Krishnagar, 155 for East Bardhaman, 140 for Ranaghat and 53 for Siliguri.

Altogether 15,789 polling booths have been set up and each booth will be manned by an ASI and four armed constables.

Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting for all the 45 seats while ruling AITC is contesting 42. Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha. BSP has fielded 32 candidates, CPI (M) 25, Congress – 11, AIFB – two, RSP, NPP and CPI one each while there are 83 independents along with 76 others are also in the fray.

Among the 319 contestants, a number of sitting ministers like Jyotipriya Mallick, Gautam Deb, Bratya Basu, Sujit Bose, former minister Madan Mitra, BJP’s Mukul Roy, Rahul Sinha, Samik Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi Dutta,,CPI(M) Ashoke Bhattachrya would join the fray.

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