3 WB districts go to polls today

BJP fields maximum number of candidates in second phase of Assembly elections

Bracing up: Joint Force jawans patrolling the Jhargram area for the assembly elections in West Midnapore district of West Bengal as the state goes to the second of phase of polls on Saturday.PTI

The three districts where election would be held are Murshidabad having 22 seats, Birbhum - 11 and Nadia - 17. In all 11,531 polling stations have been set up. Around 158 companies of central para-military personnel besides five thousand state armed policemen have been deployed to guard the booths, sources in the Election Commission said.

Despite the main contest being between the Marxists and the opposition, Trinamool Congress, it was the Bharatiya Janata Party that has fielded the maximum number of candidates(50) for Saturday's polling. Prominent among those whose electoral fate will be decided are Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee from Nalhati, Panchayat minister and CPM leader Anisur Rehman, former High Court judge Nure Alam Chowdhury contesting on Trinamool Congress ticket from Murarai and Rukbanur Rehman, brother of computer graphics teacher Rizwanur Rehman from the Chapra constituency.

Besides the party president Sonia Gandhi and union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Congress had roped in former Indian cricket captain Md Azharuddin to appeal to the Muslim voters, while the BJP banked on its stalwarts like L K Advani and party chief Nitin Gadkari.

Defying the party's warning, four rebel Congress candidates backed by party MP Adhir Chowdhury are contesting as independents in Murshidabad district and an equal number of dissidents are in the fray in Nadia. All of them have been suspended by the party.

Prominent Left leaders who campaigned included Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Nadia besides CPM politburo member Biman Bose and Housing minister Gautam Deb. Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi who was on a three-day tour of Bengal, held meetings with senior officials .Web cameras have been installed in sensitive booths to monitor polling and prevent the possibility of tampering the election process.

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