Kolkata: Amid massive security blanket, voting for the fifth phase of crucial West Bengal Assembly elections will be held on Saturday in 45 of the state’s 294 constituencies to decide the fate of 319 candidates.
The ruling Trinamool Congress’s performance in this phase would prove crucial in deciding whether Mamata Banerjee would return as the Bengal chief minister on May 2 for the third consecutive term.
In the fifth phase of polling in the state, elections will be held in 6 districts and 45 assembly seats. The districts include North Pargana Part I, Darjeeling, Nadia Part I, Kalimpong, East Bardhaman Part I and Jalpaiguri on April 17.
The forty five 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. In all 15,789 Polling Stations have been set up for this purpose.
The Election Commission (EC) had decided to increase the Silent Period of the campaign for this phase by 24 hours and hence the campaign ended a day earlier on Wednesday. This decision was taken after a mob stormed and a firing incident followed at Polling Station No. 126 in Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency in Cooch Behar district during the Fourth Phase of polling on last Saturday. Five persons lost their lives in two incidents in the district.
The Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangements with the deployment of central and state forces to ensure a free fair and peaceful poll. 853 companies of central forces have been deplloyed in West Bengal for the fifth phase elections.
In this phase more security forces will be deployed compared to the fourth phase. In the previous phase, 789 companies were deployed for 44 Assembly constituencies.
The EC sources said that out of 853 companies, 283 will be deployed only in 24 Parganas district. This security arrangement is for purpose that an incident like Cooch Behar does not happen again, where many people lost their lives during the violence.
Calcutta High Court had on Tuesday directed that all health-related guidelines should be maintained in the strictest possible manner with regard to campaigning by political parties for the West Bengal assembly polls in view of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases.