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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 06 May 2021 6.44 PM IST

Assembly Elections 2021: First phase voting begins in 47 seats in Assam, 30 in West Bengal

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NEW DELHI: After days of high-octane campaigns and a series of lucrative poll promises by contesting parties, the first phase of elections in West Bengal and Assam got underway Saturday.

Voting is being held today in 30 of Bengal’s 294 Assembly seats. There are 191 candidates in the fray, and over 73 lakh voters are on the rolls to exercise their franchise. The prominent candidates include BJP district president Sukhamoy Satpati, actress June Maliah, four-time Congress MLA from Baghmundi Nepal Mahato and Sanjukta Morcha’s Susanta Ghosh. In Assam, 47 Assembly seats are going to polls, with 264 candidates in the fray. Over 8 lakh are eligible to vote. Some of the prominent faces are Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowol, state Congress chief Ripun Bora and Raijor Dal’s Akhil Gogoi.

In West Bengal, polling is being held amid tight security with the Election Commission deploying around 730 companies of central forces, guarding 10,288 polling booths housed in 7,061 premises. Besides, 22,092 state police personnel have also been deployed at strategic locations.

A total of 300 companies of security forces have been deployed in the first phase in Assam, in which voting will take place at 11,537 polling stations across 12 districts of Upper Assam and the Northern Bank of Brahmaputra. Patrolling has been intensified and strict vigil is being kept in all the vulnerable areas.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda made frequent visits to both the states to drum up support for BJP, it was Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi who hit the streets to garner support for their respective parties. The BJP hopes to retain power in Assam and defeat the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. Assam and Bengal will have three-phase and eight-phase elections, respectively. The counting of votes will be on May 2.

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TAGS: ASSEMBLY POLLS, ASSAM, WEST BENGAL, FIRST PHASE OF VOTING, POLL PANEL, AMIT SHAH, J P NADDA
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