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Penultimate sixth phase LS poll underway in Bengal

Penultimate sixth phase LS poll underway in Bengal

Kolkata, May 25 (UNI) The penultimate sixth phase election to eight Lok Sabha seats of Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Bishnupur in Bengal with over 1,45 crore electorate began at 7 am on Saturday amid tight security.
Saturday's phase holds huge significance, not only for the state but also for the nation, as it plays a crucial role in shaping then political trajectory of one of India's most populous states.
The saffron brigade, however, mathematically has edge over ruling Trinamool Congress as the main opposition of the state had five seats and the ruling has three in 2019 Parliament poll.
Official sources said some 1,45,34,228 voters, of them 71,70,822 women, have been enrolled to cast their votes in about 15,600 polling stations to elect eight winners among the 79 aspirants, majority of them are Independent candidates under the constant vigil of nearly 1,000 companies of Central Armed Forces.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) while announcing the polling schedules in mid March reiterated that the poll panel this time is committed to ensuring free, fair and fearless voting.
The poll panel needs a kudos as well as the Central forces as in the past five phases so far not a single person has been killed since April 19 in vote-related violence. There had been not even a report of EVM looted nor any fight inside the polling booth so far.
In the 2021 assembly poll in Bengal during the first phase five people were killed and the tally went up and up immediately after May 2 results. Bengal also witnessed bloody Panchayat polls in 2023 and these events made the ECI extra cautious for the General Elections.
The poll panel has meticulously planned the polling schedules to ensure a smooth and efficient electoral process, which was opposed by the ruling party for prolonging in the oppressive summer.

The TMC and BJP are contesting in all seats, while Left- Congress combine also in the eight segments, the CPI(M) in five, Forward Bloc in one and Congress in two.
The contest once again is between Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and Narendra Modi's Parivar candidates, sources added.
Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur constituencies serve as battlegrounds where candidates from different political parties vie for victory, aiming to secure their foothold in the state's political landscape as 2026 is state assembly poll.
In Tamluk, Purba Medinipur the fight is between new horns TMC's Debanhshu Bhattacharyya and Justice (Retd)Abhijit Gangopadhyay (BJP), and Sayan Banerjee of the CPI(M).
In Kanthi, also in Purba Medinipur, TMC's Uttam Barik, Soumendu Adhikari from BJP, also the youngest brother of Suvendu Adhikari, and Urbashi Bhattacharya from the Congress would vie. The seat was held by Adhikari's father Sisir Adhikari, who won on TMC ticket in 2019 but the whole family's allegiance switched over to the saffron brigade after the eldest joined the BJP in 2020.
The Ghatal, also in Medinipur, where Tollywood super star Dev alias sitting MP Dipak Adhikari seeks his reelection against his professional friend in the studios Hiranmay Chattopadhyay from the BJP. Papiya Chakraborty from the grand old party is also vying for victory.
Once Maoist-dominated Jhargram is where TMC's Kalipada Soren, medic Pranat Tudu from the BJP, and Sonamoni Murmu (Tudu) of the CPI(M) are in contention. The seat was held by the BJP's Kumar Hembram in 2019 but suddenly he quit politics right now.
The Medinipur seat will witness actor June Malia of TMC against Agnimitra Paul of BJP, a fashion designer-turned full time politician for the past five years. CPI's Biplab Bhatta is also contesting the seat.
Purulia, also a former bastion of Maoists, where TMC's Shantiram Mahato is facing BJP's sitting MP Jyotirmay Singh Mahato. Congress veteran Nepal Mahato is also in the fray.
In neighbouring Bankura, which has also acute water problems, TMC's Arup Chakraborty is in the run against sitting MP and Union Minister Dr. Subhash Sarkar. Nilanjan Dasgupta from the CPI(M) is also one of the contenders.
Bishnupur, also in Bankura, witnesses a keen contest where Sujata Khan (Mondal) faces her estranged husband and sitting MP Soumitra Khan from the BJP Shital Kaibartya from the CPI(M) is also in the hustings.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has alerted the district administrations to keep all necessary arrangements in polling stations in view of formation of Deep Depression ‘Remal’ over central Bay of Bengal.
The Commission has instructed the Costal Districts Authorities to be prepared to meet any eventuality.
Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Dr. Arif Aftab on Wednesday reviewed the situation at a high level meeting with the concerned District Authorities where State Disaster Management Secretary and Officials from Metrological Department were present.

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