Bengal to vote in 5th phase tomorrow, Howrah candidates bat for free and fair polls
By Joymala Bagchi
West Bengal is set to vote under the fifth phase of general elections on Monday.
The Howrah Lok Sabha constituency, which is expected to see a crucial electoral battle, will see BJP’s Rantidev Sengupta, TMC’s Prasun Banerjee, Congress’s Suvra Ghosh and CPM’s Sumitro Adhikary contesting against each other.
The Election Commission (EC) has ordered for deployment of 578 units of central forces, which will be covering 100 per cent polling booths in West Bengal for ensuring free and fair elections.
The order was issued following incidents of violence reported in the last four phases of polling in the state.
Also, Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency has been listed as the most sensitive area by the West Bengal Election Commission.
Sengupta said, “I went to Sakrail and Panchla for campaigning a few days ago. Villagers, especially women, asked me whether they can vote as per their choice. I am confident of winning.”
He said that BJP will fight for the cause of free and fair polls.
In response, state cabinet minister Arup Roy said, “BJP thinks it will win but tell me what they have done? Did they fulfill a single promise made by the Prime Minister? They divide people whereas we believe in secularism.”
“Also, people here could not exercise their franchise during CPM’s regime. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has restored the rights of the people,” he added.
Asked on the deployment of central forces, Roy said, “Everybody wants a peaceful election and hence the deployment of central forces are welcome.”
In the 2016 state Assembly election, the TMC had emerged victorious in Howrah.
Polls in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal — Bangaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uleberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly and Arambag will begin at 7 am on Monday.
There are 16,33,201 registered voters in Howrah. (ANI)
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