Kolkata, Apr 16 (UNI) Amid an unprecedented glare of the Election Commission and a massive security blanket, West Bengal goes to the first of the five-phase Assembly election to 45 seats tomorrow in three Maoist-affected rpt Maoist-affected south Bengal districts.
The polling, to be held in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts, would decide the fate of altogether 227 candidates, including Health Minister Surjyakanta Mishra, Water Resources Minister Nanda Gopal Bhattacharya, Backward classes Welfare Minister Upen Kisku and Ministers of State Bilasibala Sahis and Susanta Ghosh.
Former Ministers Partha De and Sambhu Mandi and swimmer Bula Choudhury, making her electoral debut as a CPI (M) candidate, are among other prominent aspirants.
More than 6.8 million electorate, including over 3.3 million women, will exercise their rights to franchise in the three districts.
In all 300 companies of Central Para Military Force, including CRPF, BSF and ITBP, have been pressed into service by the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections.
While the Left Front partners, including the CPI(M), and the Opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress are the main contenders, the Jharkhand Party and the BJP are also in the fray in a number of seats in the region.
The polling will take place in 7478 regular polling stations and 438 auxillary polling stations across the three districts, for which 7911 EVMs are being used. Besides, this 1583 EVMs have been kept as reserved in case any of the machines malfunction during the polls.
While West Midnapore will have polls for 21 constituencies, including the sensitive ones in Keshpur, Pingla, Debra and Garbetta (East and West), Bankura goes to poll for 13 constituencies, including Ranibandh (ST), Taldanga and Raipur (ST), and Purulia for 11, including Bandowan, Jhalda and Jaypur and Arsa.
Three constituencies in Purulia - Asra, Jaipur and Hura - have maximum number of 10 candidates fighting it out for the polls. The Medinipur constinuency in East Midnapore district is considered to be the largest constituency with over 1.8 million voters. MORE UNI KDG SJC RD 1208