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West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE Updates: BJP men forcibly occupying booths, attacking TMC candidates, claims Mamata

West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE updates: Addressing a public meeting in Alipurduar district, the TMC supremo said her party’s nominee in Arambagh, Sujata Mondal, was chased and hit on head near a polling booth by saffron party workers

File image of voters queuing up outside a polling booth. PTI

West Bengal Election 2021 LATEST updates: West Bengal Chief Minister¬†Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed BJP activists were forcibly occupying polling booths and attacking TMC members, including party candidates, and asserted that she would not get bogged down by such “intimidatory tactics”.

Addressing a public meeting in Alipurduar district, the TMC supremo said her party’s nominee in Arambagh, Sujata Mondal, was chased and hit on head near a polling booth by saffron party workers.

Mamata recently appealed for Muslim unity and said their votes should not divide. It shows that Muslim vote bank, which you considered as your strength, is slipping out of her grasp, said Modi in Cooch Behar on Tuesday.

The TMC supremo also shared a video of an incident in Uluberia in Howrah in which Central forces personnel and locals could be seen arguing.

Of the three districts voting on Tuesday, Hooghly recorded the highest voting percentage at 37.36 percent. Howrah witnessed 36.97 percent polling whereas, South 24 Parganas registered 32.44 percent.

Out of 53 candidates with criminal cases, 43 have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. There are nine candidates who have declared cases related to crime against women.

The Election Commission has said that the EVM and VVPAT machines were taken to the TMC leader’s residence by Tapan Sarkar, a sector officer in charge of elections, reported ANI.

Among the three districts voting on Tuesday in the third phase of Assembly polls, South 24 Parganas recorded the highest voter percentage at 12.89 percent. Howrah witnessed 9.67 percent polling whereas, Hooghly registered 8.87 percent turnout.

Among the 2015 candidates in phase 3, the TMC and BJP have fielded 31 candidates each, 13 each by the BSP and CPM, seven by the Congress, two by the All India Forward Bloc, one by the Revolutionary Socialist Party, 68 independents and 39 from other parties.

Describing all 31 Assembly constituencies as ‘sensitive’, the Election Commission on Monday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.

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 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.

West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE Updates BJP men forcibly occupying booths attacking TMC candidates claims Mamata

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