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Campaigning ends for the final phase of Assembly elections

Kolkata: Campaigning for the eighth and final phase of polling for 35 Assembly constituencies scheduled to be held on April 29, ended at 6.30 pm on Monday.

Concluding her campaign for the seven candidates in North Kolkata that will go for poll on April 29 TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee said: "I have successfully completed the campaign despite being injured at the initial stage." Banerjee received an injury on March 10 at Nandigram. Following the incident, the wheelchair bound chairperson of TMC completed her campaign for 50 days at a stretch visiting most of the Assembly constituencies and addressing some virtual meetings.

A total 84,77,728 voters —43,55,835 male, 41,21,735 women and 158 of the third gender are eligible to decide the fate of 283 candidates in Thursday's polling which will be held in six constituencies of Malda, 11 in Murshidabad, seven in Kolkata North and 11 in Birbhum, Election Commission sources said.

While 11 candidates each have been fielded by Trinamool Congress, BSP and BJP, CPI(M) is contesting in four seats, Congress in three, AIFB in 2

and RSP (1), the EC sources said.

There are four Independent candidates in the fray as well, they said. The focus in this phase of polling will be on five Assembly constituencies in Kolkata North — Beleghata, Jorsanko, Shyampukur, Maniktala, Kashipur-Belgachia — as neck and neck contest is expected between TMC heavyweights and BJP challengers. In Shyampukur seat, state minister for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja is contesting against BJP's Sandipan Biswas and AIFB's Jiban Prakash Saha.

In Beleghata, TMC has fielded Paresh Paul against BJP's Kashinath Biswas and CPI-M's Rajib Biswas. In Jorasnko, BJP has named Meena Devi Purohit against TMC's Vivek Gupta and Congress' Ajmal Khan.

The TMC has named Atin Ghosh in Kashipur-Belgachia against BJP candidate Sibaji Sinha Roy and CPI(M)'s Pratip Dasgupta.

A close contest is also expected in Maniktala Assembly seat where state Consumer Affairs Minister TMC veteran Sadhan Pandey will fight former India footballer and BJP

candidate Kalyan Chaubey and CPI(M)'s Rupa Bagchi.

Political experts are sensing a tough fight

in Bolpur Assembly seat of Birbhum where

the BJP has fielded Anirban Ganguly against state minister Chandranath Sinha. Keen

contest is also expected in Nanoor, Murari and Labhpur.

They are also expecting a similar contest between the ruling TMC and the opposition BJP and Samyukta Morcha (Cong- CPI-M-ISF alliance) candidates in Malda district and 11 seats in Murshidabad district.

The election at Baishnabnagar Assembly

constituency in Malda, which was scheduled

to be held on April 29, has been countermanded following the death of an independent candidate, Samir Ghosh, in Covid on Monday evening.

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