West Bengal Assembly polls | Campaign ends for third phase of polling

31 Assembly constituencies will go to polls on April 6

Campaign for the third phase of West Bengal election for 31 Assembly segments that will go to polls on April 6 ended on Sunday. After polling in 60 Assembly segments in the south western parts of the State in the first two phases, constituencies in the southern part are going to the polls in the third phase.

These 31 Assembly segments are concentrated in three districts — Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas. There are 205 candidates in fray in 31 seats of which eight are located in Hooghly district, seven in Howrah and 16 constituencies in South 24 Parganas district. Twelve of the 31 constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.

About 78 lakh voters will be able to exercise their franchise across 10,871 booths. The Trinamool Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates in all 31 seats. Under the Samyukt Morcha, the CPI(M) has fielded candidates for 13 seats, the All India Forward Bloc has two candidates, the Revolutionary Socialist Party one and the Congress nominees are contesting in seven seats. In the remaining eight seats, the Indian Secular Front has fielded its candidates mainly in the minority dominated areas of South 24 Parganas.

The 16 Assembly segments going to polls in South 24 Parganas are seeing an interesting contest. The seats are concentrated across three police districts of Baruipur, Daimaond Harbour and Sunderbans. The seats going to polls in South 24 Parganas and Howrah are Trinamool Congress bastions. Out of 31 Assembly seats in South 24 Parganas district, the party has won all seats in 2016.

Infiltration, migration

While campaigning in the region, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly urged voters to resist against any possibility of split of minority votes. The BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, have among other issues raised the issue of infiltration from across the border and migration to other States for work.

The key constituencies include Tarakeshwar in Hooghly, where former Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta is testing political waters against TMC candidate Ramendu Singh Roy. At Raidighi, former Minister and senior CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly is contesting from Raidighi against TMC candidate Alok Jaldata. West Bengal Speaker Biman Banerjee is contesting in Baruipur Paschim, whereas prominent TMC youth leader Saukat Molla is contesting from the Canning Purba Assembly segment. The fourth phase of polling, when 44 constituencies will go to polls, is scheduled for April 10.

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