Five LS seats in West Bengal to go polls in the third phase
Kolkata: Five West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies - Balurghat, Maldaha North, Maldaha South, Jangipur and Murshidabad will go to the polls in the third phase of elections on Tuesday.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, BJP and Congress are the main contenders in the five seats in which the fate of 61 candidates will be decided by a 80,23,852-strong electorate.
Four seats will see four-cornered contests between the three parties and the Left. It will be a three-cornered contest in Maldaha South as no Left party is in the fray in the seat.
The constituencies saw high-octane campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi who raised a series of issues ranging from corruption to communalism, NRC to chitfund scams and development to security, besides infiltration.
The TMC has fielded sitting MP Arpita Ghosh against BJP's Sukanta Majumdar in Balurghat. The Congress has named Sadik Sarkar and RSP, a Left Front constituent, has fielded Ranen Burman.
In Maldaha North, the TMC has named former Congress MP Mausam Benazir Noor against BJP's Khagen Murmu, while Congress has nominated Isha Khan Chowdhury and CPI(M) Biswanath Ghosh.
Maldaha South will see the ruling party's Moazzem Hossain locking horns with BJP's Sreerupa Mitra Choudhury.
Congress's Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury is also in the fray. The CPI(M) has not fielded any candidate.
In Jangipur, TMC's Khalilur Rehman will contest against former president and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit. The BJP has fielded Mafuja Khatun and the CPI(M) Zulfikar Ali.
Abu Taher Khan is the TMC candidate from Murshidabad against BJP's Humayun Kabir. The Congress has nominated Abu Hena and the CPI(M) named Badruddaza Khan for the seat.
The Election Commission will deploy 324 companies of central forces to cover over 92 per cent of the 8528 polling booths in the five Lok Sabha seats to ensure free and fair polling, officials said.
Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel has for the first time deployed a special police observer and a special observer.
In another first, VVPAT will be used in all polling booths along with the EVMs, EC sources said.