New Delhi: West Bengal to vote for its seventh phase of Assembly elections on Monday (April 26, 2021) which will decide the fate of 284 candidates in the fray contesting for 34 assembly constituencies, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s home turf Bhabanipur. More than 86 lakh voters will likely cast their vote.
Polling will take place across 12,068 polling stations spread over nine constituencies each in Murshidabad and Paschim Bardhaman districts, six each in Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda and four in Kolkata. All eyes will be on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s current constituency Bhabanipur.
Veteran TMC politician and state power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will contest from Bhabanipur and is pitted against a seasoned actor but a greenhorn in electoral politics, Rudranil Ghosh, who left the ruling party a few months ago to join the BJP.
State minister Firhad Hakim is also seeking re- election for a third consecutive term from the Kolkata Port constituency, while the BJP fielded Lt General (Retired) Subrata Saha from the Rashbehari seat in the metropolis.
Due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the EC has banned roadshows and vehicle rallies noting that COVID safety norms were being flouted in West Bengal during campaigning.
The Election Commission has curtailed daily campaign hours and extended the “silence period” from 48 hours to 72 in each of the remaining three phases of the assembly polls.
An Election Commission official said that the security measures in the state have been heightened to prevent violence like the Cooch Behar incident where five people were killed in the fourth round of polling on April 10. At least 796 companies of central forces have been in the seventh phase to ensure free and fair voting.
Also, measures to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the voting process willbe put in place, the official said.
The result will be declared on May 2.