The Election Commission on Monday issued notification for the third phase of West Bengal Assembly elections on April 21, starting the process of filing nominations in 62 constituencies in the state.
Around 23 nomination papers were filed on the first day on Monday, the state’s Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said.
Voters of the 62 constituencies of Murshidabad (22), Nadia (17), Uttar Kolkata (7) and parts of Burdwan (16) in this phase would be able to exercise their franchise from 7 am to 6 pm. Candidates contesting for this phase will be able to file their nominations up to April 4, while scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on April 5 and the date of withdrawal will end on April 7, he said. For the Phase II elections on April 17, in seven districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Malda, Birbhum) 130 nominations were filed till Saturday, Sarkar said. Out of the 130, BSP (25), BJP (11), CPIM (5), Congress (6), Trinamool Congress (17), Forward Bloc (3), RSP (1), Independent (11) and 51 of other registered parties have filed their nominations till Saturday, he said. Tuesday is the last day of filing nominations for phase II elections while scrutiny of them will be held on March 30 while the date of withdrawal will be on April 1. Meanwhile, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will used in around 5,993 polling stations in the state. This is the first time this facility will be available in some polling stations. VVPAT is an instrument which enables the voters to see whom he/she had cast his/her votes for. The EC has taken up the initiative to bring transparency in the electoral system. Sarkar said each district will have one Assembly constituency which will be equipped with the VVPAT, with an exception in South 24-Parganas district where two Assembly segments — Jadavpur and Behala West will have the facility.