The election battle for the eastern state is getting intense with each passing day as political parties in West Bengal are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to make their presence felt ahead of the third phase of the Assembly polls on Tuesday (April 6).
A total of 31 Assembly constituencies, including eight in Hooghly, seven in Howrah and 16 in South 24 Parganas, will go to polls in Phase-III tomorrow. Polling for the first two phases of the West Bengal polls was held on March 27 and April 1, respectively. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to deploy 618 companies of central forces in the third phase as the state is witnessing a high-octane triangular contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Congress-Left alliance.
Here are the key contests to look out for in Phase-III of the West Bengal Assembly elections 2021:
Tarakeswar is an Assembly/Vidhan Sabha constituency in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. It falls under the Arambagh Lok Sabha constituency. It has become a high-profile seat after BJP announced journalist-turned-politician Swapan Dasgupta as its candidate from the seat against Trinamool Congress’s Ramendu Sinha Roy and CPI(M)’s Sujit Ghosh. Dasgupta had resigned as a Rajya Sabha MP after being named as a candidate from the saffron party.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, Rachhpal Singh of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the seat in Tarakeswar, a popular pilgrimage town in the district. Singh secured 97,588 votes as against 69,898 votes received by closest rival Surajit Ghosh of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
This Assembly seat too comes under Hooghly district and is part of Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency, represented by BJP’s Locket Chatterjee. The saffron party has fielded Tushar Majumdar against sitting Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA and cabinet minister Asima Patra and Congress’s Anirban Saha this time.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, TMC's Patra had won the Dhanekhali Assembly seat. She secured 1,25,298 votes as against 66,654 votes won by her closest rival Pradip Majumdar of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB).
The BJP has fielded popular actress Tanushree Chakraborty against sitting Trinamool MLA Kalipada Mandal at Shyampur in Howrah district. The Congress candidate is Amitabha Chakraborty.
In the 2016 West Bengal Assembly election, Kalipada Mandal won the Shyampur seat on a TMC ticket by garnering 1,08,619 votes against Congress' Amitabha Chakraborty. Chakraborty was the runner-up and was defeated with 26,586 votes.
This Assembly seat comes under the South 24 Parganas district and is a part of the Mathurapur (SC) Lok Sabha constituency. This time, Trinamool has fielded Aloke Jaldata against CPI(M)’s Kanti Ganguly and BJP’s Shantanu Bapuli. Ganguly had served as a minister in the Left Front government.
In 2016, Trinamool’s Debasree Roy defeated CPI(M)’s Kanti Ganguly in a very close contest by only 1,229 votes. Roy secured 1,01,161 votes while Ganguly got 99,932 votes. BJP’s Sanghamitra Chaudhuri logged only 7,703 votes to finish a distant third.
Basanti Assembly seat comes under Jaynagar Lok Sabha constituency in South 24 Parganas district and is part of the Jaynagar (SC) Parliamentary constituency. This time, Trinamool has fielded former minister Shyamal Mondal against RSP’s Subhas Naskar and BJP’s Ramesh Maji. In 2011, Mondal was elected from the Canning Paschim seat.
In 2016, Gobinda Naskar defeated seven-time winner Subhas Naskar by a margin of 16,607 votes. While Gobinda Naskar secured almost 50 per cent votes, Subhas Naskar bagged 40.72 per cent votes.