West Bengal Election, Phase-3 Polling Tomorrow: For 31 seats, 205 candidates are in fray and more than 78.5 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Among the prominent candidates are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly.
West Bengal Phase-3 polling on April 6 (Tuesday)
West Bengal Assembly Election 2021: Polling for 31 seats in phase three will take place on Wednesday (April 6 ). The seats going to polls in phase three are spread across three districts — Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas. Here, a three-way battle is expected with the BJP seeking to breach TMC fortresses, and Left Front-ISF-Congress alliance hoping to make a mark in areas.
For 31 seats, 205 candidates are in fray and more than 78.5 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Among the prominent candidates are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly. The Election Commissioner has made tight security arrangements to ensure peaceful voting. It has deployed 618 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to guard 10,871 polling stations — all of which have been marked “sensitive” by the Commission.
Of 31 constituencies going to polls in phase three, 16 are in South 24 Parganas (part II), seven in Howrah (part I) and eight in Hooghly (part I). The ruling Trinamool Congress had won all but one seat of these 31 segments in the 2016 assembly elections. The Congress, on the other hand, had managed to bag Amta constituency in Howrah district.
The BJP, however, has now emerged as the main contender of the TMC. All eyes will be on four of seven seats in the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, held by Mamata’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee. The rest three seats will go to polls in the fourth phase on April 10.
Peerzada Abbas Siddiqui’s The Indian Secular Front has turned out to be a cause of concern for the TMC, as the outfit holds sway in several parts of South 24 Parganas and Hooghly districts. Mamata had sensed the ISF’s potential to eat into her TMC’s minority vote base and had been hitting out at Siddiqui, alleging that he has been propped up by the BJP.
Reports of clashes between the ISF and TMC supporters have emerged from Bhangar and Canning East in South 24 Parganas. The saffron party has fielded sitting MLA and TMC turncoat Dipak Halder, who wields considerable influence in the area. In the run-up to election, the BJP held power-packed campaigns across the three districts over the past few days, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Besides, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union minister Smriti Irani also held a slew of rallies in these districts. Mamata Banerjee traversed the length and breadth of the three districts on her wheelchair, highlighting her government’s development schemes during these years.