Crucial fifth phase of Assembly elections voting for the in West Bengal started today in 53 constituencies across the state.
Today’s polling will seal the fate of a number of political heavyweights including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet candidates who were featured and seen in the alleged Narada sting operation footage taking bribes.
All Total 349 candidates, including 43 women, are in today’s election across three districts – Kolkata South, South 24 Parganas and Hooghly. Nearly 1.2 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes at over 14,500 polling booths from 7 AM to 6 PM.
But entire focus is on south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur, where Didi (chief minister Mamata Banerjee) is facing a challenge from Left Front-backed Congress nominee CPIM supported Mrs.Deepa Dasmunshi (Wife of Congress Heavyweight Priya Ranjan Das Munshi) and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose of the BJP in a tight three corner fight.
A group of state cabinet ministers and Trinamool heavyweights Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, city mayor Sovon Chatterjee and Iqbal Ahmed – who are allegedly seen accepting bribe in the Narada sting operation video footages.
Other prominent candidates in this phase include ministers Arup Biswas and Manish Gupta — both from the Trinamool — and CPI-M state secretariat members Rabin Deb and Sujan Chakraborty.
Another star candidate is Abdur Rezzak Mollah, a high-profile minister during the Left Front regime, who is contesting on a Trinamool ticket from Bhangore in South 24 Parganas.
Celebrated actress and legislator Debasree Roy is fighting on CPI-M heavyweight and former state minister Kanti Ganguly at Raidighi in South 24 Parganas.
A total of approx 80,000 personnel of central and state police forces have been deployed across the 53 seats to ensure free and fair poll. The ECI also ordered to keep Madan Mitra master poll manager of TMC under no communication vigil rule.
The last 25 seat out of total 294 will vote in the sixth and final phase on May 5.