West Bengal gears up for sixth phase of polls


The eight-phase election in West Bengal is virtually coming to an end with 43 constituencies spread across four districts going for the poll in the sixth phase on Thursday. In this phase election will be conducted in nine constituencies each in North Dinajpur and Nadia districts, 17 in North 24 Parganas and eight in East Burdwan where 10,409,948 electorate will decide the fate of 306 candidates among which 27 candidates are female.

If we analyse the 43 constituencies from the perspective of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress had a lead in 24 of the constituencies while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had an edge in 19 seats. The total number of electors including service voters in these constituencies are 10,409,948 with 53,42,702 male electors and 50,66,990 female voters. The total number of polling booths are 14,480 that includes 10,897 main and 3,583 auxiliary booths. The number of 80 plus voters are 1,57,290 while 64,266 are PWD (Persons with Disabilities) voters. The total number of service electors are 22,157, third gender voters are 256 while overseas voters are only 15.

The Commission has tied up with Uber to provide free of cost ferrying to 80 plus and PWD voters to the polling booths to facilitate their voting in all the 17 Assembly constituencies in North 24 Parganas. The Election Commission has deployed 26 general observers, 13 expenditure observers and 13 police observers for the 5th phase of polls. There will be webcasting facilities in 7,466 polling booths and micro-observers will be deployed in 20 per cent of the booths.

The Election Commission will deploy 779 companies of central forces for the sixth phase of the election with special emphasis in the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate area as it had witnessed sporadic violence during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 107 companies’ central forces will be deployed only for Barrackpore Commissionerate – much higher than the average deployment all through the other constituencies.

The highest deployment of the Commission- 278 companies will be in North 24 Parganas district followed by 181 companies in North Dinajpur district, 163 companies in Nadia district and 157 companies of central forces in East Burdwan district. Bongaon Police district in North 24 Parganas will have 69 companies while Barasat Police District will have 59 companies and Basirhat will have 40 companies. The Asansol Durgapur Commissionerate under East Burdwan district will have 14 companies of central forces.