Campaign Ends For Lok Sabha Polls’ Third Phase In Bengal

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Kolkata: The campaign for the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal ended on Sunday in five parliamentary constituencies scheduled to vote on April 23.

With big rallies, road shows, street corner meetings and last minute door-to-door contact with voters in Balurghat, Jangipur, Murshidabad, Malda Uttar (North) and Malda Dakshin (South), canvassing reached a peak over the past couple of days, before coming to an end at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among the star campaigners.

An electorate of 8,016,181 will decide the fate of 61 candidates in the third phase.

As per the electoral roll, there are total of 4,102,364 men, 3,913,593 women and 224 registered in the ‘other’ category for the five constituencies.

Out of total 8,528 polling stations, Balurghat has 1,530, there are 1,762 in Jangipur, 1,907 in Murshidabad, 1,713 in Malda Uttar and 1,616 in Malda Dakshin.

Among the star candidates are former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee (Jangipur), Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury (Malda South) (both Congress) and Trinamool Congress’ Mausam Noor (Malda North) and Arpita Ghose (Balurghat) – a theatre activist.

In Jangipur, BJP has nominated Mafuja Khatun, the party’s only Muslim woman candidate.

According to an analysis done by the West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms, out of the 61 candidates across parties contesting 11 have assets worth over Rs 1 crore and 15 declared criminal cases against themselves.

In the 2014 general elections, Congress had bagged Jangipur, Maldah North and Malda South, while Balurghat went to the Trinamool and Murshidabad to the CPI-M.

The votes will be counted on May 23.