KOLKATA: The sixth phase of the West Bengal election for 43 seats has begun today amid spiralling COVID cases in the state. The 43 constituencies that spread across four districts will decide the fate of a total of 306 candidates, including 27 women.
Among the 43 constituencies, nine are in Uttar Dinajpur, eight in Purba Bardhaman, nine in Nadia, and 17 are in the North 24 Parganas district.
According to the analysis on these 43 constituencies from the perspective of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress had a lead in 24 of the constituencies while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had an edge in 19 seats.
The total number of electors including service voters in these constituencies are 10,409,948 with 53,42,702 male electors and 50,66,990 female voters. The total number of polling booths are 14,480 that includes 10,897 main and 3,583 auxiliary booths.
The number of 80 plus voters are 1,57,290 while 64,266 are PWD (Persons with Disabilities) voters. The total number of service electors are 22,157, third gender voters are 256 while overseas voters are only 15.
TMC and BJP are contesting all 43 seats. Congress, the Left parties, and the Indian Secular Front formed a coalition and are contesting under the banner of Samyukta Morcha. Out of the 43 seats in this round, Congress has got 12 in its share, CPI(M) 23, All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) four, and CPI two seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also trying its luck and has fielded 37 candidates.
The most high-profile candidate in this phase is BJP national vice president Mukul Roy, who is contesting from the Krishnanagar Uttar Assembly constituency in Nadia district.
The Commission has tied up with Uber to provide free of cost ferrying to 80 plus and PWD voters to the polling booths to facilitate their voting in all the 17 Assembly constituencies in North 24 Parganas.
There will be webcasting facilities in 7,466 polling booths and micro-observers will be deployed in 20 per cent of the booths.
The Election Commission will deploy 779 companies of central forces for the sixth phase of the election with special emphasis in the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate area as it had witnessed sporadic violence during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 107 companies' central forces will be deployed only for Barrackpore Commissionerate - much higher than the average deployment all through the other constituencies.
Among this, the highest deployment of the Commission will be in North 24 Parganas district with 278 companies followed by 181 companies in North Dinajpur district, 163 companies in Nadia district and 157 companies of central forces in East Burdwan district. Bongaon Police district in North 24 Parganas will have 69 companies while Barasat Police District will have 59 companies and Basirhat will have 40 companies. The Asansol Durgapur Commissionerate under East Burdwan district will have 14 companies of central forces.
Polling for the seventh and the eighth phase will be held on April 26 and April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.