Campaigning Comes to an End for Sixth Phase


Curtain came down at 6.30 pm on Monday on the campaigning for 43 assembly constituencies of West Bengal which will go to polls on April 22 in the sixth phase of elections. In view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, the Election Commission (EC) has extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases of the assembly polls to be held on April 22, 26 and 29.

Polling will be held between 7 am and 6.30 pm at 14,480 polling stations in 17 constituencies in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur districts and eight in Purba Bardhaman district. Altogether 306 contestants including the BJP’s national vice president Mukul Roy, senior TMC leaders and ministers Jyotipriya Mallick and Chandrima Bhattacharya, and CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya are in the fray.

The political fate of film director Raj Chakraborty and actress Koushani Mukherjee, who were fielded by the Trinamool Congress, will also be sealed in this phase of the election. There are more than 1.03 crore voters in these 43 constituencies, who are eligible to exercise their franchise.

Of those voters, 53.21 lakh are men, 50.65 lakh are women while 256 belong to the third gender. The EC has decided to deploy 1,071 companies of central security forces in the sixth phase to ensure free and fair polling.

Five people were killed — four in CISF firing and one by unidentified assailants during the fourth phase of polling in Cooch Behar district. The BJP’s star campaigners such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, party president J P Nadda and actor Mithun Chakraborty addressed several rallies in the constituencies, attacking the ruling TMC over corruption charges and promising to build a “Sonar Bangla” (Golden Bengal).

On the other hand, TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the Diamond Harbour MP, attacked the BJP-led central government over fuel price rise. Assembly elections are being held in the state in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.

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