West Bengal to vote for 30 seats in first phase of assembly polls on March 27 | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: West Bengal is all set for the first phase of assembly election on Saturday which will decide the fate of 191 candidates in 30 constituencies.
Among all the five assemblies going to polls, West Bengal holds the dual distinction of having the maximum number of seats and elections being held in the maximum number of phases.
West Bengal will be voting in eight phases for 294 seats. The votes will be counted on May 2. Assam will vote in three phases while the remaining three assemblies – Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry – will face only one phase.
More than 73 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in West Bengal on Saturday. Most of the 30 constituencies going to polls in the first phase are in the once-Naxal-affected Jungle Mahal region.
The elections will be held amid tight security with the Election Commission (EC) deploying around 684 companies of central forces that would guard 10,288 polling booths housed in 7,061 premises, officials said.
Besides, the state police will also be deployed at strategic locations, they added.
In the first phase, polling will take place amid strict Covid-19 guidelines in all nine seats in Purulia, four in Bankura, four in Jhargram and six in Paschim Medinipur, besides the seven seats in high-stakes Purba Medinipur – the home ground of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee campaigned in a majority of the seats going to the polls in the first phase with her nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee touring the rest, asserting that they would not let Bengal to be ruled from Delhi or Gujarat, in an apparent reference to the BJP and the prime minister.
The BJP’s charge was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took part in multiple rallies over the last few weeks. Home minister Amit Shah and BJP’s national president JP Nadda also canvassed the areas, which are marked by the forests and because of that, the region is identified as Jungle Mahal.
The BJP has promised a “Sonar Bangla” if it forms government in the state, while the TMC has been campaigning on the works done by the Mamata Banerjee government in the last ten years.
The Left-Congress-ISF alliance candidates focussed more on door-to-door visits and small meetings on street- corners and village-level gatherings rather than mega rallies in the absence of a formidable face to take on the chief minister and the prime minister.
Total 73,80,942 voters will be exercising their franchise in the first phase. Of them, 37,52,938 are male and 36,27,949 female, while there are 55 third gender voters.
(With agency inputs)

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