Kolkata: With ruling Trinamool Congress facing its toughest challenge to retain power for the third successive term, a high voltage campaign for the first phase of West Bengal assembly poll ended this evening for thirty constituencies in five districts.
Polling for thirty constituencies will be held in the first phase on March 27 in five districts of Purulia, West Midnapore Part I, Bankura Part I, East Midnapore Part I and Jhargram.
The thirty Assembly Constituencies of West Bengal going to polls in first phase are: 1.Patashpur 2. Kanthi Uttar 3. Bhagabanpur 4. Khejuri (SC) 5. Kanthi Dakshin 6. Ramnagar 7. Egra 8. Dantan 9. Nayagram (ST) 10. Gopiballavpur 11. Jhargram 12. Keshiary (ST) 13. Kharagpur 14. Garbeta 15. Salboni 16. Medinipur 17. Binpur (ST) 18. Bandwan (ST) 19. Balarampur 20. Baghmundi 21. Joypur 22. Purulia 23. Manbazar (ST) 24. Kashipur 25. Para (SC) 26. Raghunathpur (SC) 27. Saltora (SC) 28. Chhatna 29. Ranibandh (ST) 30. Raipur (ST).
In the first phase, 191 candidates will be vying for the 30 seats in which 21(11%) are female candidates.The Election Commission (EC) has extended polling time by 30 minutes for the first phase of West Bengal assembly elections.
A notification issued by the poll panel said that the voters will now be able to exercise their franchise from 7 am to 6.30 pm. It said the decision was taken in view of the COVID-19 restrictions.
The campaign was marked by war of words among the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the Left-Congress-ISF combine.The Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangements with the deployment of central and state forces to ensure a free fair and peaceful poll.Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel deployed a special police observer Vivek Dube.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttar Pradesh/Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, West Bengal BJP in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh were the star campaigners for BJP.
Actors-turned-politicians such as Locket Chatterjee, Roopa Ganguly, Babul Supriyo, Manoj Tiwari, Srabanti Chatterjee, Paayel Sarkar and Hiran Chatterjee also campaigned for the BJP
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and senior Left leaders were campaigned for their respective fronts.
West Bengal assembly election is going to be a high stake event as both BJP and TMC have unleashed challenge against each other.Even months before the polls, BJP has been aggressively campaigning in the state, targeting the incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government.
Several big names of the TMC have left their party and joined BJP ahead of the election, questioning the conduct of the Mamata Banerjee led state government.Names like Suvendu Adhikari, Rajib Banerjee, Baishali Dalmiya, former Howrah mayor Rathin Chakraborty and actor Rudranil Ghosh, others have joined the BJP ahead of elections.
The campaign was characterised by a no-holds barred tirade of allegations and counter-allegations and ruling Trinamool Congress going all out to retain power for the third successive term.
The Trinamool Congress chief called upon the people to defeat the BJP while the Prime Minister urged voters to exercise their franchise in his party's favour.
It is for the first-time when PM Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has hogged the limelight in the state. The BJP is aiming to make a debut as the ruling party in Bengal. If the BJP comes to power, then this 2021 assembly election will be remembered for bringing a paradigm shift in the political narrative of West Bengal.
The assembly election in West Bengal will be held in eight phases. The voting will take place in eight phases--on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2.(UNI)