West Bengal election 2021 LIVE Updates: Voting in 45 seats across six districts in phase 5 begins; 342 candidates in fray

07:52 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

From Darjeeling to Sundarbans, voting for phase 5 underway in 45 seats 

Of the 45 seats in the fifth phase, 13 are in north Bengal and 32 seats will vote in south Bengal. This is the highest number of seats going to polls in any of the eight-phase marathon Assembly elections.

Thirteen seats in north Bengal are spread across three districts — five in Darjeeling, seven in Jalpaiguri and one in Kalimpong. In south Bengal, 16 seats are spread across North 24 Parganas, and there are eight each in Nadia and Bardhaman districts.

The seats going to polls stretch from the northernmost point in the Darjeeling hills to Basirhat Uttar and Basirhat Dakshin in the Sunderbans.

07:44 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

Polling underway in Darjeeling

07:40 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

EC curtails period of campaigning in 'larger public interest'

Against the backdrop of "unprecedented public health concerns", the Election Commission on Friday invoked constitutional powers to put in place restrictions on campaigning by political parties, including curtailing its time, for the West Bengal Assembly elections.

In an order, the poll panel curtailed the time for campaign up to 7 pm. Earlier it was up to 10 pm.

"No rallies, public meetings, street plays, nukkad sabhas, shall be allowed on any day during the days of campaign between 7 pm and 10 am with effect from 7 pm of 16 April," the order said.

It also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three of the eight phases of the West Bengal polls to be held on 22, 26 and 29 April. 

07:26 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

More than one crore voters to decide fate of 342 candidates

Over one crore voters will hold sway over the political fate of 342 candidates across 45 constituencies spread across six districts.

Security measures have been heightened for phase five in view of the violence in the previous phase, which witnessed the death of five people in Cooch Behar, including four in CISF firing.

07:05 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

Full list of constituencies going to polls in phase 5:

1) Darjeeling (Darjeeling) 
2) Kurseong (Darjeeling)
3) Matigara-Naxalbari (Darjeeling)
4) Siliguri (Darjeeling)
5) Phansidewa (Darjeeling)
6) Dhupguri (Jalpaiguri)
7) Maynaguri (Jalpaiguri)
8) Jalpaiguri (Jalpaiguri)
9) Rajganj (Jalpaiguri)
10) Dabgram-Phulbari (Jalpaiguri)
11) Mal (Jalpaiguri)
12 )Nagrakata (Jalpaiguri)
13) Kalimpong (Kalimpong)
14) Santipur (Nadia)
15) Ranaghat Uttar Paschim (Nadia)
16) Krishnaganj (Nadia)
17) Ranaghat Uttar Purba (Nadia)
18) Ranaghat Dakshin (Nadia)
19) Chakdaha (Nadia)
20) Kalyani (Nadia)
21) Haringhata (Nadia)
22) Bidhannagar (North 24 Parganas)
23) Madhyamgram (North 24 Parganas)
24) Rajarhat Gopalpur (North 24 Parganas)
25) Rajarhat New Town (North 24 Parganas)
26) Baranagar (North 24 Parganas)
27) Kamarhati (North 24 Parganas)
28) Haroa (North 24 Parganas)
29) Minakhan (North 24 Parganas)
30) Barasat (North 24 Parganas)
31) Deganga (North 24 Parganas)
32) Sandeshkhali (North 24 Parganas)
33) Basirhat Dakshin (North 24 Parganas)
34) Basirhat Uttar (North 24 Parganas)
35) Hingalganj (North 24 Parganas)
36) Panihati (North 24 Parganas)
37) Dum Dum (North 24 Parganas)
38) Raina (Purba Bardhaman)
39) Jamalpur (Purba Bardhaman)
40) Manteswar (Purba Bardhaman)
41) Kalna (Purba Bardhaman)
42) Memari (Purba Bardhaman)
43) Bardhaman Uttar (Purba Bardhaman)
44) Khandaghosh (Purba Bardhaman)
45) Bardhaman Dakshin (Purba Bardhaman)

06:56 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

Key candidates in fifth phase

Prominent names in the fifth phase include Siliguri Mayor and Left Front leader Ashok Bhattacharya, state ministers Gautam Deb and Bratya Basu and BJP's Samik Bhattacharya.

Elections to Bengal are being held in eight phases with the first, second, third and fourth phase of Assembly polls being held on 27 March, 1 April, 6 April and 10 April, repsectively.

06:54 (IST)

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates

Phase 5 polling in 45 seats across six districts today 

A total of 45 seats spread across north Bengal and the hilly areas of West Bengal will vote today (Saturday, 17 April) in phase five of the multi-phased election. The fifth phase will see over one crore voters deciding the fate of 342 candidates from 45 constituencies spread across six districts.

West Bengal election 2021 LATEST Updates:: Prominent names in the fifth phase include Siliguri Mayor and Left Front leader Ashok Bhattacharya, state ministers Gautam Deb and Bratya Basu and BJP's Samik Bhattacharya. 

The fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 will be held on Saturday, 17 April, across 45 constituencies spread over six districts.

Elections to Bengal are being held in eight phases with the first, second, third and fourth phase of Assembly polls being held on 27 March, 1 April, 6 April and 10 April, respectively.

Bengal has already voted for 135 seats in the last four phases. Polling in the previous in the first three phases saw sporadic incidents of violence with members of all political parties, including some TMC candidates, facing attacks by rival camps.

The fourth phase, however, saw unprecedented violence with a CISF firing near a polling station in Sitalkuchi constituency of Cooch Behar killing four voters, while another voter died in a firing by a mob. Attacks on candidates were also reported in the fourth phase of the election. It's to be noted that while polling will be underway for 45 seats in the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly election, campaigning will continue in the 114 constituencies in the state that are set to vote in three phases on 22 April, 26 April and 29 April. Counting of votes will take place on 2 May.

The Election Commission has decided to deploy at least 853 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting, an official of the poll panel said. It will also put in place measures to ensure strict adherence of COVID-19 protocols during the voting process, he said.

West Bengal on Thursday recorded the highest single-day spike of 6,769 coronavirus cases and at least 22 more fatalities.

Prominent names in the fifth phase include Siliguri Mayor and Left Front leader Ashok Bhattacharya, state ministers Gautam Deb and Bratya Basu and BJP's Samik
Bhattacharya.

Voting will be held at 15,789 polling stations in the 45 constituencies 16 seats in North 24 Parganas, eight each in Purba Bardhaman and Nadia, seven in Jalpaiguri, five in Darjeeling and one in Kalimpong district.

The phase is crucial for the ruling Trinamool Congress, which is hoping to better its 2016 tally of 32 seats, even as a resurgent BJP looks to make inroads.

The Left-Congress alliance had bagged 10 seats in the assembly elections five years ago.

Meanwhile, the seizure of illegal inducements to voters, such as liquor and cash, during the ongoing polls to five assemblies and by-polls to some seats has crossed the record value of Rs 1,000 crore, a whopping jump of over four times since the 2016 polls, the Election Commission said Friday.

An Election Commission "progressive" report, which will get updated as the remaining phases of poll are conducted, said the maximum Rs 446.28 crore was seized in Tamil Nadu, where the elections have already ended, followed by West Bengal (Rs 300.11 crore), where four phases are yet to take place.

Drugs and narcotics is the highest category of illegal inducements seized till now in West Bengal (Rs 118.83 crore out of the total Rs 300.11 crore).

The EC said it had deployed a total of 326 expenditure observers, including five special expenditure observers, for free and fair conduct of these polls, while 259 assembly seats were marked as 'expenditure sensitive' for what it called "focussed vigil" to check the flow of black money and freebies.

As per the law, distributing cash and gifts during the electoral process with the intent to influence voters is not permitted and such expenditure comes under the definition of bribery which is an offence both under 171B of IPC and under the Representation of People Act.

"The expenditure on such items is illegal. The drive against the menace of money power will continue with vigour in the remaining
phases of elections and the seizure figures are expected to rise even further," the EC said.

With inputs from PTI



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