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Campaigning ends for 5th phase

Braving inclement weather, polling personnel have already left for the 7 constituencies

Campaigning ends for 5th phase

Kolkata: More than 1 crore people will exercise their franchise on May 6 in seven Lok Sabha constituencies where campaign came to an end on Saturday afternoon.

These constituencies are Bongaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly and Arambag.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress had won in all these constituencies and political experts said the situation will remain the same. In these constituencies, the TMC supremo has not changed the candidates.

In Bongaon, Mamatabala Thakur had won by 1.46 lakh votes in 2014. Binapani Devi, the head of the Matua community, had showered her blessings on the Trinamool Congress. But after her demise on March 5, the Matua community became divided and Shantanu Thakur, son of Manjul Krishna Thakur, is contesting on a BJP ticket against Mamatabala. Of these seven constituencies, the most important battle is between Dinesh Trivedi, the sitting MP of Trinamool Congress and Arjun Singh, who recently joined BJP from TMC. In 2014, Trivedi won the seat by 2.06 lakh votes and got only 37,382 votes from Bhatpara from where Singh was the MLA. Political experts said though a section of the media are creating a hype, Singh will not be able to create any dent within the Trinamool's fort.

In Howrah, Prasun Banerjee, the sitting MLA, had won by 1.96 lakh votes in the 2014 elections. Rantideb Sengupta of the BJP is contesting against Banerjee.

Sajda Ahmed, the widow of Sultan Ahmed, is contesting from Uluberia. In 2014, Sultan Ahmed won the seat by 2.01 lakh votes. After his premature death, Sajda was elected in the by-election and is contesting from the seat.

Kalyan Banerjee had won by 1.52 lakh votes in 2014 from Serampore Lok Sabha seat. Dr Ratna Dey Nag, the sitting Trinamool MP, has been re-nominated. She had won the seat in 2014 by 2.89 lakh votes. This is her third consecutive term. Her principal opponent is BJP's Locket Chatterjee. TMC's Aparupa Poddar had won the Arambag seat by 3.46 lakh votes.

Political experts said the Trinamool Congress will have no problem retaining the seat. Mamata Banerjee had addressed meetings in all these seats and took part in road shows that had attracted thousands of people.

The election to these seats will take place on Monday between 7 am and 6 pm.

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