Singur(West Bengal), May 14: Polling for the second phase of panchayat elections in five districts of West Bengal has begun this morning, amidst tight security.
The other districts where polling is underway are Nadia, North and South 24 Pargana, Howrah and Hooghly.
More than one crore 31 lakh 43 thousand voters are expected to cast their votes.
The fate of as many as 14,000 gram panchayat, 3,000 panchayat samiti and 250 zilla parishad seats will be decided. Candidates for about 800 seats, including 752 gram panchayat seats in Hooghly, have been elected unopposed.
Tight security arrangements have been made to avoid any kind of untoward incident.
A total of 69,000 police and para-military force personnel have been deployed at the polling booths. According to sources, around 30,000 personnel of state armed policemen, 25,000 of the BSF, 7,000 of Tripura police, 5,000 of Kerala police and 2,000 of Orissa police have been pressed into service in North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Nadia districts. The results of the village council polls in Singur and Nandigram is expected to mirror the fears of the people on the forced usurping of their agricultural land for industrialisation.
The first phase of the three-tier panchayat polls (village council elections) got underway to a smooth and peaceful start on Sunday. Five districts of the state, East and West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Vardhaman went to polls.
Despite peaceful polling in these districts, all eyes are on Singur and Nandigram Midnapore, which will be a litmus test for political parties in the state.