Mumbai: The Election Commission of India announced on Friday that West Bengal will witness the eight-phase assembly elections starting on March 27. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “There will be eight-phase elections in West Bengal. 30 assembly constituencies in five districts will go for the first phase voting on March 27. 30 Assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to the polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”
Bengal to see 8-phase elections. 1st phase of polling on Mar 27, second phase of polling on Apr 1, third phase of polling on Apr 6, fourth phase of polling on Apr 10, fifth phase of polling on Apr 17, sixth phase polling on Apr 22, seventh phase-Apr 26, final phase polling-Apr 29 pic.twitter.com/F5UQDcPUpW
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2021
“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies of six districts will vote on April 17. In the sixth phase, 43 constituencies of four districts will vote on April 22. In the seventh phase, 36 constituencies in five districts will vote. 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.
The term of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will end on May 30 this year. This time in West Bengal, there is a possibility of a triangular contest with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP.
Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, while the BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state assembly.
The Congress and the Left have formed an alliance for the elections and have already finalized the seat-sharing agreement. He is also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddiqui. In 2016, out of 294 seats in the West Bengal assembly elections, the Congress managed to win 44 seats, while the Left Front won 33 seats.
The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP won 3 seats. The BJP won 18 seats in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and decided to win 22 of the TMC. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the Congress won two seats, with the Left parties securing a vacancy. Following the BJP’s performance in the 2019 elections, several TMC leaders have joined the party led by JP Nadda.
It has been seen that elections in West Bengal are marred by violence. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have started moving to four poll-bound states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry, West Bengal and Kerala — to ensure peaceful conduct of Assembly elections.
According to official communication, accessed by ANI, a total of 45 CAPFs companies will be deployed in Tamil Nadu, 40 in Assam, 10 in Puducherry, 125 in West Bengal and 30 companies in Kerala.