West Bengal to go to assembly polls on March 27



The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal assembly polls will begin on March 27, reports ANI. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “West Bengal is going to see eight-phase elections. Thirty assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase on March 27. Thirty assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”

“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will go to polls on April 17, while 43 constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the sixth phase on April 22. Thirty-six constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go to polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will take part in polls on April 29,” he said.

The CEC said adequate forces’ deployment shall be ensured during elections. “All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of forces will be deployed. Advance teams are already deployed in these states,” he said.

“Postal ballot facility has been extended as an option to senior citizens aged 80 years and above, persons with disabilities and electors employed in essential services,” Arora added.

The CEC said door-to-door campaigning has been restricted to five persons including the candidate. Roadshows are allowed subjected to convoy breaking after five vehicles, he added.

The tenure of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will end on May 30 this year.

West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.

While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state assembly.

Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front, recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.

In 2016, West Bengal assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats.

The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and decimating TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank.

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