Election Campaign Ends For Phase IV of Bengal Polls

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Kolkata: Campaigning for the fourth phase of assembly polls in West Bengal which will decide the fate of 345 candidates in 49 seats spread across North 24 Parganas and Howrah district ended this evening.

A total of 1.07 crore electorate will exercise their franchise in about 12,500 polling stations from 7 am to 6 pm on Monday.  State Finance Minister Amit Mitra and jailed ex-minister Madan Mitra are among the high-profile candidates contesting in this phase.

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Amit Mitra, who was secretary-general of FICCI before joining politics in the 2011 assembly polls, is once again in the race from Khardaha seat in North 24 Parganas in the northern outskirts of the city.

Despite his claims to the contrary, Mitra has been under attack for lack of industrialisation during the Trinamool Congress regime in the state.

All eyes will be on former Transport and Sports minister Madan Mitra, who is contesting from Kamarhati seat in North 24 Parganas district.

Madan Mitra was arrested by CBI in December 2014 in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam and is currently lodged in Alipore jail.

This is the first time that a high-profile candidate is fighting elections in West Bengal from jail.

TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee campaigned for Mitra in his consistency saying he has been a victim of a conspiracy by the Centre.

Mitra’s name had also figured in Narada sting operation, an issue which has been haunting TMC ever since the video was released.

Also in the fray this phase are TMC ministers Purnendu Basu, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Bratya Basu, Jyotipriyo Mullick and Aroop Roy.

Greenhorns in the ring this phase include former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s daughter Vaishali and former Bengal cricket captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla – both of whom are fighting on TMC tickets.

Shukla is pitted against actress-turned-politician Rupa Ganguly of BJP from north Howrah seat.

Footballer Dipendu Biswas has been fielded by TMC from south Basirhat seat which is being defended by BJP’s only sitting MLA Shamik Bhattacharya.

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