The fate of 293 candidates contesting in 50 constituencies will be decided in the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections on Saturday. This phase covers Murshidabad, Nadia and Birbhum districts.
On April 18, 54 constituencies in six north Bengal districts went to the polls.
Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta assured the electors that “strict security arrangements” had been made in every booth and appealed to them to exercise their franchise “fearlessly.”
While Central para-military force personnel would be deployed on the premises of each of the 11,531 booths, the security forces would also be posted in their vicinity in three tiers.
A total of 93,51,325 electors are on the rolls for this phase and the percentage of EPIC (Elector's Photo Identity Card) coverage is 99.18, according to the Election Commission.
The dissident factor makes both Murshidabad and Nadia districts interesting battlegrounds, with as many as nine Congress rebels contesting as Independents against the nominees officially put up by the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance.
Peeved at the Trinamool fielding candidates in four constituencies each in the two districts which were traditionally a strong base of the Congress, senior district leaders of the party Adhir Choudhury and Shankar Singh have openly expressed their support for the rebels contesting against the Trinamool nominees.
Even as the Pradesh Congress Committee suspended the rebels, Mr. Choudhury and Mr. Singh have remained steadfast in their support for them.
Keywords: West Bengal Assembly elections