West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE updates: Phase 3 to be held in 31 seats today; over 78 lakh voters to decide fate of 205 candidates

06:46 (IST)

West Bengal Election 2021 LATEST Updates

Polling in parts of Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas today

In this phase, elections will be held in parts of rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district.

06:45 (IST)

West Bengal Election 2021 LATEST Updates

BJP's Swapan Dasgupta among 205 candidates in fray

Senior BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and former CPM minister Kanti Ganguly are among the 205 candidates whose campaigns for the third phase of elections in 31 seats in West Bengal ended on Sunday evening.

06:44 (IST)

West Bengal Election 2021 LATEST Updates

Over 78 lakh voters to decide fate of 205 candidates

The stage is set for the third phase of the Assembly poll in West Bengal today (6 April, Tuesday) where over 78 lakh voters will decide the fate of 205 candidates in 31 seats across three districts — South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly — go into polls.

West Bengal Election 2021 LATEST updates: The third phase of the West Bengal Assembly election will be held on Tuesday amid tight security and COVID-19 protocols.

In this phase, elections will be held in parts of rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district. The third phase of polling will cover a total of 31 constituencies.

A total of 78,52,425 voters will decide the fate of 205 candidates in the 31 seats. Of them, 39,93,280 are males, 38,58,902 females and 243 third gender voters.

In all, 10,871 polling stations have been set up in the Assembly constituencies, where elections will be held from 7 am to 6.30 pm.

At least 618 companies of central forces will be deployed in this phase, Election Commission sources told PTI, adding that all the booths have been identified as "sensitive".

The EC allocated the highest 396 companies of central forces for the 5,544 booths in the three police districts in the South 24 Parganas -- Baruipur, Diamond Harbour and Sundarban.

Key battles

The 16 seats in South 24 Parganas, going to the polls in this phase, are the most affected by cyclone Amphan that hit the state amid the lockdown last May. Significantly, these are TMC strongholds, having massive grassroots organisation, with many being part of Abhishek Banerjee's Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat.

However, the allegations of corruption in Amphan relief and the rise of ISF in certain pockets are among the factors that are being closely watched for their potential to affect the TMC's fortunes.

The seven seats going to the polls in Howrah, another TMC stronghold in its south Bengal bastion, are mostly in the rural areas of the district. The TMC won 15 of the 16 seats in this district in the 2016 assembly elections. However, the switching over of state minister Rajib Banerjee, a senior TMC leader of the district, to the BJP ahead of the elections is being closely watched for its potential to sway the polls.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are being held in eight phases. The first two phases were on 27 March and 1 April. Votes will be counted on 2 May.



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