In the third phase when 78,52,425 electorate of the 31 Assembly constituencies spread across three districts of West Bengal will go to polls on April 6, the eyes, however, will be on three women — Antara Acharya, Mukta Arya and Deepap Priya P.
The three women are the District Magistrates of South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly respectively, who will be conducting one of the most crucial elections in the state.
“When the election commission is inspiring the women voters to come forward and take part in the biggest festival of democracy this is unique that all the three district magistrates who will work as District Election Officers (DEO) during the polls are women. This will bolster the confidence of the women and excite them to take part in the polling process,” a senior election official of the state told IANS.
Acharya, who is the senior most among the three, cleared the UPSC civil service exam in 2006 and was first posted as the sub-divisional officer in Sreerampore. Before getting posted as the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas, Acharya worked in different responsible posts of the state government. She served as additional district magistrate (ADM) of Durgapur and Asansol and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority. Acharya also worked as the District Magistrate of East Midnapore and North 24 Parganas. Before getting her posting as DM-South 24 Parganas in February this year — just a few days before the announcement of the dates, — Acharya worked as the CEO of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.
Mukta Arya, who originally hails from Andhra Pradesh, had joined administrative service in 2008 and also worked in government facilities with repute. She was appointed the DM of Bankura district just before the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal. She was appointed the DM of Howrah in November last year.
Deepap Priya P., the youngest among the three is an IAS of 2011 batch. She was given the charge of additional DM of North 24 Parganas during the 2016 Assembly elections. She had served as the DM of South Dinajpur and Darjeeling before she was given the responsibility of the District Magistrate of Hooghly in February this year.
On April 6, 31 Assembly constituencies will go for the polls. Among the constituencies, 16 are in South 24 Parganas, 18 assembly in Hooghly and the rest of the seven are from Howrah rural areas.