Guwahati:Voting for the third and final phase of Assam elections commenced at 7 am today with voters queuing up many polling centres to cast their votes at the crack of the dawn.
A total of 79, 19,641 voters will decide the fate of 337 candidates in the 40 assembly segments spread over the 12 districts in Lower Assam.
Four constituencies of the capital town Guwahati is also going to polls in the final phase of elections. There are six seats reserved for STs and two for SCs.There are 25 women candidates in the fray.
Of the 79,19,641 voters, who are illegible to vote in phase III, 40,11,539 are males, 39,07,963 females and 139 transgenders.The constituency having the highest number of electors in Phase-3 is Dispur with 607 polling booths having 4, 11,636 electors.
The constituency having the lowest number of electors in Phase-III is Chapaguri in Baksa with 236 polling stations having 1, 59,257 voters.
The seats are spread across 12 districts including three in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).The fate of many politicians including BJP’ star campaigner Himanta Biswa Sarma who is contesting from Jalukbari will get sealed in ballot box.
Others who are in the fray include Chandra Mohan Patowary from Dharampur, Siddhartha Bhattacharya from Gauhati East, Asom Gana Parishad’s Phanibhushan Choudhury from Bongaigaon, BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Patacharkuchi, Pramila Rani Brahma from Kokrajhar-East and Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania from Barama.
The fate of 20 sitting MLAs, including eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the AIUDF and BPF and one from AGP, will be decided in the final phase.The voting will which started at 7 am and will conclude at 6 pm.
Polling begins for third phase in Bengal
Kolkata: Voting for the third phase of the eight-phase assembly election in West Bengal began this morning in 31 of the state’s 294 constituencies amid elaborate security arrangements.
Polling for the third phase will be will held across four districts and 31 assembly seats. The districts include Howrah Part I, South 24 Parganas Part II and Hooghly Part 1 on Tuesday.
The thirty-one Assembly Constituencies of West Bengal going to polls in the Third Phase are 1. - Basanti (SC), 2 - Kultali (SC), 3 – Kulpi, 4 – Raidighi, 5 - Mandirbazar (SC), 6 - Jaynagar (SC), 7 - Baruipur Purba (SC), 8 - Canning Paschim (SC), 9 - Canning Purba, 10 - Baruipur Paschim 11. - Magrahat Purba (SC) 12. Magrahat Paschim 13. Diamond Harbour, 14 – Falta, 15 – Satgachhia, 16 - Bishnupur (SC), 17 - Uluberia Uttar (SC), 18 - Uluberia Dakshin, 19 – Shyampur, 20 – Bagnan, 21 – Amta, 22 – Udaynarayanpur, 23 – Jagatballavpur, 24 – Jangipara, 25– Haripal, 26 - Dhanekhali (SC), 27 – Tarakeswar, 28 – Pursurah, 29 - Arambag (SC), 30- Goghat (SC), 31 – Khanakul.
The fate of 205 candidates in which 13(6%) are female candidates will be decided in the third phase by 78,52,425 voters including 39,93,280 are males, 38,58,902 females and 243 third gender who will exercise their franchise in 10,871 polling booths spread across the 31 constituencies, the Election Commission sources said.
Out of 13 female candidates contesting in the third phase, 4 are from the Trinamool Congress while 2 from the BJP, 1 each from the CPI(M) and Congress while 5 candidates are representing other political parties.
The EC has made elaborate security arrangements with the deployment of central and state forces to ensure a free fair and peaceful poll.
Election Commission imposed Section 144 of CrPC in all 31 West Bengal assembly constituencies going to polls on Wednesday.
About 832 companies of central security forces have been deployed in the constituencies to ensure a peaceful election. Out of these, 214 companies of Quick Response Teams (QRTs) will be present in the third phase. 307 companies have been deployed in the South 24 Parganas, while 167 companies have been deployed in the rural areas of the Hooghly district police department. Furthermore, 144 companies have been deployed in the Howrah district.
Hooghly district, once a TMC stronghold, witnessed the BJP making significant inroads with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as party candidate Locket Chatterjee won the Hooghly seat. Elections will be held in eight seats of the district in this phase.
The seven seats going to the polls in Howrah, another TMC stronghold in its south Bengal bastion, are mostly in the rural areas of the district. The TMC won 15 of the 16 seats in this district in the 2016 assembly elections.
However, the switching over of state minister Rajib Banerjee, a senior TMC leader of the district, to the BJP ahead of the elections is being closely watched for its potential to sway the polls.
The 16 seats in South 24 Parganas, going to the polls in this phase, are the most affected by cyclone Amphan that hit the state amid the lockdown last May. Significantly, these are TMC strongholds, having massive grassroots organisation, with many being part of Abhishek Banerjee's Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat.
It is for the first time when 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 campaign was marked by a war of words among the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the Left-Congress-ISF combine.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Cabinet Ministers Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan, Babul Supriyo, Uttar Pradesh/Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, West Bengal BJP in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty were the star campaigners for BJP.
Actors-turned-politicians such as Locket Chatterjee, Roopa Ganguly, Srabanti Chatterjee, Paayel Sarkar and Hiran Chatterjee have 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 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.
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)