Nandigram gears up for Battle Royale
Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) has imposed Section 144 in Nandigram ahead of the second phase of Assembly elections in which TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP.
According to a notice, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Haldia in East Midnapore district, Avneet Punia said in accordance with specific directions of the Election Commission and in the likelihood of violence, breach of peace and unwarranted incidents, Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed from 6:30 pm on March 30 till April 2.
The assembly of five or more persons, excluding persons on election duty and voters entitled to vote in the designated polling stations, is prohibited within 200 metres of the polling premises and no use of cellular/cordless phone, wireless sets will be allowed within 100 metres of the polling premises except by persons on poll duty.
The Election Commission will deploy 22 companies of Central forces in Nandigram alone during the second phase of elections. There will be 22 QRTs and webcasting facilities in 75 per cent of the 355 booths in Nandigram. There will be one micro observer for each booth. IPS Nagendra Tripathi has been assigned the responsibility of special surveillance in Nandigram.
"As per rules of the Commission, a VVIP having Z-plus category of security is allowed to enter the polling booth with two security men who will be clad in plain clothes and have their arms concealed," a senior EC official said.
The Commission has deployed four armed security personnel for CPI(M) candidate Minakshi Mukherjee.
The total number of voters in Nandigram is 257,999 that includes 133,257 males and 123,898 females. The number of service electors is 843 and the third gender voter is 1.
For the second phase of Assembly polls in Bengal on Thursday, 30 Assembly constituencies (AC) spread across four districts are going for polls. 171 candidates from different political parties are in the fray during the second phase of polls that covers parts of East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Bankura and South 24-Parganas. 19 of the candidates who are contesting in the second phase are women.
The total number of electors, including service voters in these constituencies, are 7607667 with 3893655 male and 3713936 female voters.
The total number of polling stations is 10,620 that includes 8,333 main and 2,287 auxiliary booths. The number of 80 plus voters are 1,18,116 while 54,765 are PWD (Persons with Disabilities) voters. The total number of service electors are 13118, third gender voters are 86 while overseas voters are only 13.
"The auxiliary booths have been set up to abide by Covid norms in the voting process as per guidelines of the Commission that mandates that there should not be more than 1,000 voters in a particular booth," a senior official of the state CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) office said.
The four ACs in South 24-Parganas — Gosaba (SC), Patharpratima, Kakdwip and Sagar have 1016564 electors, eight ACs in Bankura covering Taldangra, Bankura, Barjora, Onda, Bishnupur, Katulpur (SC), Indus (SC) and Sonamukhi (SC) have 1952818 voters, nine ACs in East Midnapore covering Tamluk, Panskura Purba, Panskura Paschim, Moyna, Nandakumar, Mahisadal, Haldia (SC), Nandigram, Chandipur have 2286363 voters and nine ACs in West Midnapore comprising Kharagpur Sadar, Narayangarh, Sabang, Pingla, Debra, Daspur, Ghatal (SC), Chandrakona(SC)and Keshpur (SC) have 1016564 voters.
The Election Commission has deployed 23 general Observers, 9 Expenditure Observers and six Police Observers for the second phase of polls.
There will be webcasting facilities in 5,535 booths that includes 732 in South 24-Parganas, 1611 in East Midnapore, 1802 in West Midnapore and 1390 in Bankura.
As per sources in the Commission, there will be 161 companies of Central forces for 2691 booths in Bankura, 198 companies in 3309 booths in West Midnapore, 188 companies for 3210 booths in East Midnapore and 89 for 1083 booths in South 24-Parganas.
Officials of the state police from all ranks ranging from Inspectors to constables will also be deployed for poll duty during the second phase. There will be 624 quick response teams and naka checkings at different strategic points.