West Bengal Assembly elections West Bengal

Polling in sixth phase to be held across crucial geographies in West Bengal

CRPF personnel deboard a train after arriving in Bardhaman in Purba Bardhaman district. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

From the narrow stretch of land connecting north and south Bengal, often referred as 'chicken's neck', to the constituencies bordering Bangladesh in Nadia and North 24 Parganas districts, the sixth phase of polling in the State will be held across interesting geographies. The 43 Assembly seats that will go to polls are spread across both north and south Bengal.

During this phase, polling will be held in both Uttar Dinajpur district of north Bengal and Bardhaman Purba, Nadia and North 24 Parganas districts of south Bengal. Nine seats in Uttar Dinjapur and Nadia will go to polls on April 22 along with 17 constituencies in North 24 Parganas district and eight in Purba Bardhaman district.

Several Assembly constituencies of Uttar Dinajpur like Chopra, Islampur, Goalpokhar and Chakulia border Bangladesh on one side and Bihar on another. The narrow stretch called ‘chicken's neck’ has a strategic importance and is also inhabited by people of all religions and ethnicities.

Some of the constituencies in North 24 Parganas, particularly those located on the banks of the river Hooghly, has centuries-old jute mills in places like Naihati, Bhatpara, Jagaddal and Barrackpore and an electorate comprising all communities of all religions. In North 24 Parganas and also in parts of Nadia like Bongaon Uttar, Bongaon Dakshin, Swarupnagar, Bagda and Krishnanagar Dakshin, there is a high concentration of Matuas. Most of the Assembly seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes. Of the 43 Assembly seats, nine are reserved.

Polling in sixth phase to be held across crucial geographies in West Bengal
 

The main poll plank of the BJP is the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and infiltration, particularly in the border areas, whereas the Trinamool Congress, along with highlighting its welfare schemes, has been campaigning against the implementation of CAA and the National Register of Citizens.

In seats of Purba Bardhaman like Katwa, Purbasthali Uttar and Purbasthali Dakshin, Ketugram, agrarian issues have dominated the political discourse.

Despite the spike in the number of COVID-19 infections, there was a hectic election campaign with several BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda participating in rallies and road shows with a host of State and central BJP leaders. For the Trinamool Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and MP Abhishek Banerjee were the star campaigners.

779 companies deployed

The campaigning for 43 Assembly constituencies going to polls in the sixth phase ended on Monday. The ECI has extended the silent period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the remaining phases. The Election Commission of India will deploy 779 companies of central forces for this phase.

A total of 306 contestants are in the poll fray including Trinamool Congress Ministers like Jyotipriya Mullick from Habra and Chandrima Bhattacharya from Dum Dum Uttar Assembly seats in North 24 Parganas.

Senior BJP leaders like Mukul Roy is contesting from Krishnanagar Uttar and Rahul Sinha from Habra. Sitting MLAs of the Samyukt Morcha, Ali Imran Ramz of All India Forward Bloc, is contesting from Chakulia in Uttar Dinjapur and Tanmoy Bhattacharya of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from Dum Dum Uttar.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 6:05:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/polling-in-sixth-phase-to-be-held-across-crucial-geographies-in-west-bengal/article34369818.ece

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