Campaign ends for second-phase polls in West Bengal



The campaign drums fell silent for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal on Tuesday for three parliamentary constituencies that will vote on April 18.

With high voltage public meetings, rallies, street corner meetings and last-minute door-to-door contact with voters, canvassing reached a peak over the past couple of days, before coming to an end at 6 p.m on Tuesday in Jalpaiguri (SC), Darjeeling and Raiganj constituencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Deepa Das Munshi and Bengali actor Mimi Chakraborty were some of the star campaigners in this phase.

Trinamool Congress triggered a controversy by roping in Bangladesh actor Ferdous Ahmed for their campaign in Raiganj along with two other Bengali actors, Ankush Hazra and Payel Sarkar.

A total of 49,323,46 voters in the three seats will decide the fate of a total of 42 candidates in the second phase.

As per the electoral roll, there are 25,228,87 men, 24,093,72 women and 87 registered in the 'other' category for the three constituencies.

Out of total 5,390 polling stations, Jalpaiguri (SC) has 1,868, Darjeeling 1,899 and 1,623 in Raiganj.

Among the star candidates in this phase are former Union Minister Deepa Dasmunsi (Congress), BJP state general secretary Debashri Chaudhuri and CPI-M politburo member Mohammad Salim -- all contesting from Raiganj.

According to an analysis done by the West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms, 13 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves and 14 are crorepatis.

In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had bagged Darjeeling, while Jalpaiguri elected a Trinamool candidate and Raiganj voted the CPI-M to victory.

The votes will be counted on May 23. IANS