Siliguri (West Bengal): District Election Officer of Darjeeling and District Magistrate Shashank Sethi has increased the polling stations in five Assembly constituencies in the district for the upcoming polls in the view of an ongoing pandemic.
In the last polls, there were 1,413 polling stations and now it has been increased to 1,719. There are 12,22,190 voters in the district.
Darjeeling will go for the polling in the fifth phase on April 17. Two companies of the central armed police forces will be arriving in the district, officials said.
One company of the CAPF has arrived.
Addressing a press meet on Saturday afternoon, Sethi said a number of measures have been taken for COVID-19.
The service electors will follow everything starting from training, campaigning, polling, and counting, he said.
Sethi said all the polling personnel will be vaccinated against COVID-19. For the time, he said e-nominations have been introduced this time in Bengal.
In the 2016 Assembly elections, Gorkha JanaMukti Morcha (GJM) had won Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong seats in the hills and in plains Congress won Matigara-Naxshalbari and Phansidewa seats. The Siliguri Assembly seat was bagged by CPI (M).
The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “West Bengal will see eight-phase elections. 30 Assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase 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 polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”
“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will witness polling on April 17. 43 constituencies in four districts in the sixth phase will go to polls on April 22. 36 constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go for polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.
In 2016, West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats. (ANI)