The seats are Howrah, Hooghly, Serampore, Bolpur, Arambagh, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Birbhum and Uluberia.
Among the candidates are BJP's Bappi Lahiri, journalist-turned politician Chandan Mitra and actor George Baker, who carry the hopes of the party leadership to score big for the first time in the state. While most poll analysts rule out BJP's outright win in any of the nine seats, they all agree on an increase in voteshare.
Among Trinamool Congress candidates are sitting MPs Satabdi Roy, Kalyan Banerjee and Sultan Ahmed besides Prasun Banerjee, a former India soccer player. It is a battle for the CPI-M to hold on to the four seats among the nine which it had won the last time.
Congress candidate Abdul Mannan is also in the fray. There are also 13 women contestants in the election. An electorate of 13943063 would be eligible to exercise their franchise.