Campaigning concludes for fifth phase of West Bengal elections

DARJEELING, INDIA - APRIL 10: Supporters wearing masks of BJP Prime Minister candidate Narendra Modi during his election rally at Siliguri on April 10, 2014 in Darjeeling, India. Around 815 million people have registered to vote in worlds biggest election, in which the battle is between pro-business Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi against the Nehru-Gandhi familys unpopular ruling Congress party. (Photo by Bikram Sashanker/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Campaigning ended yesterday for the fifth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal where the state is witnessing eight-phase election this time. The Election Commission had extended the silence period to 72 hours from 48 hours, for the fifth phase of assembly polls in the state after violence in Cooch Behar district in the fourth phase of polling.

Polling, in fifth phase, will be held on Saturday for 45 seats spread across six districts of Purba Bardhaman, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, North 24 Parganas and Nadia. A total of 319 candidates including 39 women are in the fray in this phase. The Election Commission has set up 12,198 polling stations for 11 million voters. Our correspondent reports that fifth phase is crucial as maximum number of seats are going to the polls this time.

Meanwhile, the election campaign is gaining momentum for the Sixth Phase with the prominent leaders of different political parties engaging in whirlwind tours for canvassing in favour of their candidates. In all, 43 Assembly seats spread over four districts of West Bengal will go to polls on 22nd of April in this phase.

BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani held roadshows in Malda Town, English bazar and Malatipur of Malda district. She also addressed a rally after the roadshow.

TMC Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a roadshow in Kolkata today. Senior Samajwadi Party leader and actor Jaya Bachchan attended the roadshow.

The campaign has also picked up now for the Seventh as well as the Eighth and Final Phase of the Assembly Elections in the state. In all, 36 Assembly Constituencies spread over five districts will go to polls in the Seventh Phase on April 26 while remaining 35 Assembly Constituencies spread over four districts will go to polls in the Eighth Phase on April 29. The counting of votes will be taken up together on May 2.

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