West Bengal prepares for the sixth phase amid the shadow of Covid, the vote will be held in 43 seats | India News
This will be the third final round of the eight-phase elections in West Bengal. The EC had rejected the TMC’s suggestion to bludgeon the remaining phases of the elections in the state.
This is everything you need to know about the sixth phase of the survey …
43 seats to go to the polls
Voting will take place in 43 of the 294 constituencies on Thursday, where more than a million voters will decide the fate of 306 candidates.
Voting will take place in 14,480 polling stations in the assembly segments in four districts.
This phase will witness stiff competition between the ruling Trinamool Congress and its main rival BJP.
Both the TMC and the BJP have worked to gain the trust of the Matuas, who make up a large part of the state’s programmed caste population, in most of the 17 segments of the assembly that go to the polls at this stage in the North 24 Parganas district and some of the nine seats in Nadia.
Apart from these electoral districts, elections will be held in nine seats in Uttar Dinajpur district and eight in Purba Bardhaman.
Prominent names in the sixth phase of the assembly polls include BJP National Vice President Mukul Roy, TMC Ministers Jyotipriyo Mallick and Chandrima Bhattacharya, and CPM Leader Tanmay Bhattacharya.
The political fate of film director Raj Chakraborty and actor Koushani Mukherjee, TMC candidates from the Barrackpore and Krishnanagar North constituencies respectively, will also be decided at this stage.
Security measures have been stepped up in the face of violence in the previous phases, in particular the death of five people in Cooch Behar in the fourth phase of the polls on April 10, an Election Commission official said.
The voting panel has decided to deploy at least 1,071 companies from the central forces in the sixth phase to ensure a free and fair vote, he said.
It will also implement measures to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 protocols during the voting process, the official said.
West Bengal recorded its highest single-day peak of 10,784 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.
High voltage campaigns
Despite the fact that Covid-19 infections increased in India and in the state, both the BJP and the TMC held some demonstrations to attract voters before the sixth phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda and Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty spearheaded the campaign of the saffron party, which has become the main rival of TMC in these elections.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spearheaded TMC’s campaign together with her nephew and the head of the party’s youth wing, Abhishek Banerjee.
The Electoral Commission reduced the daily campaign hours and extended the “period of silence” from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the three remaining phases of the assembly voting in view of the violence of Cooch Behar and the increase of the Covid-19 cases in the state.
No change in voting schedule: EC
Meanwhile, the voting panel on Wednesday ruled out any changes to the West Bengal assembly’s voting schedule and told the Trinamool Congress that its suggestion to pound the last three of the eight phases “is not feasible.”
The EC also told the head of the West Bengal Congress, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, that its demand to hold the remaining phases of the elections in West Bengal after the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan ends and the current pandemic fades, not it is acceptable as the term of the state assembly. It ends on May 30 and a new assembly must be constituted before.
“Any postponement of the scheduled elections would affect compliance with the constitutional and statutory provisions related to the timely conduct of the elections,” the congressional leader was told.
Results May 2
Elections have been held so far in 180 constituencies, with the remaining 114 seats going to the polls between April 22-29.
The counting for the West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry elections until May 2.
(With PTI inputs)