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(Embargoed for publication/broadcast till 1700 hrs)

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, May 1 (UNI) Campaigning for the fourth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls in Murshidabad, Burdwan and Birbhum districts came to an end at 1700 hours today.

The three districts that feature 57 constituencies go to polls on May 3. Fate of 288 candidates, including heavyweights like Animal Husbandary Minister Anisur Rehman, Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee and Commerce and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen of the Left front and Congress nominees Habibur Rehman and Atish Sinha, would be decided in this phase.

A total of 93,83,762 voters will cast their ballots to choose their representatives in the fourth phase.

The districts also witnessed some high voltage campaigning with AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Union I and B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi among the Congress heavyweights touring the districts.

Mrs Gandhi promised dollops of benefits if the region returned the Congress candidates victorious.

For the Left Front, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Polit Bureau members Brinda Karat and Sitaram Yechuri, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose and several other leaders campaigned vociferously for their candidates, while Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee led the campaign for her party.

Deputy Election Commissioner R Balakrishnan today said the number of polling officers would be increased in the fourth and fifth phase of elections in West Bengal.

He said in the first three phases of election, the turn out of voters in the post-lunch session was more and therefore the strength of the poll personnel would be increased to cope up with the rush.

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