This phase — 53 constituencies in South Kolkata, Hooghly and South 24-Parganas will vote on Saturday — will see the chief minister and four scam-tainted Trinamool Congress legislators amid a test for the Left-Congress combine to prove its hold on Kolkata. . Kolkata has 1,024 polling premises with 2,807 booths which will go into polls from 7am to 6pm during the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly elections on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)
CAMPAIGNING FOR the high-stake fifth phase Assembly poll in West Bengal, in which a galaxy of heavyweights including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are in fray, ended on Thursday evening.
This phase — 53 constituencies in South Kolkata, Hooghly and South 24-Parganas will vote on Saturday — will see the chief minister and four scam-tainted Trinamool Congress legislators amid a test for the Left-Congress combine to prove its hold on Kolkata.
Apprehending violence, the Election Commission (EC) has ordered the imposition of prohibitory orders in all the 53 constituencies on Saturday. The day will seal the fate of 349 candidates, to be decided by 1.2 crore voters.
Among those contesting are Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim from Kolkata Port, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee from Behala East, Iqbal Ahmed from Khanakul in Hooghly and Subrata Mukherjee from Ballygunge — all purportedly involved in the Narada sting scam.
Other ministers in fray include Subrata Mukherjee (Panchayat), Partha Chatterjee (Education), Aroop Biswas (Housing and Youth Affairs), Manish Gupta (Power) and Javed Ahmed Khan (Fire Service and Disaster Management). Star candidates in this phase include singer Indranil Sen and footballer Nabi, who has been the skipper of Indian Super League side Mumbai City Football Club.Read MoreWest Bengal elections: Boy tears up TMC nominee’s posters, ‘beaten up’Bengal elections: Singur braces for high-voltage fightWest Bengal Elections: EC orders prohibitory orders in 53 constituencies for fifth phase pollingWest Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to face heavyweight contenders in BhabanipurUnsung heroes: West Bengal poll staff who ‘risk’ their life for duty
However, all eyes are on Bhabanipur in South Kolkata — the seat from where Mamata Banerjee will contest against former Union minister Deepa Dasmunsi (Congress) and Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose (BJP).
BJP national president Amit Shah, in a rally, had said: “You need to win only one seat to defeat the Trinamool and that is Bhabanipur.” He also appealed for votes in the name of Netaji, saying: “This is your opportunity to pay tribute to Netaji”.
On Thursday, BJP organised two roadshows in the constituency. While actors-turned-BJP candidates Roopa Ganguly and Locket Chatterjee did their best to accrue votes for Bose, Mamata continued her whirlwind campaign, saying: “I have come to my para for your blessings. Don’t believe the lies that you are being told. Believe what you see.”
Hogging the limelight will be another constituency — Singur — which in the 2011 Assembly elections, along with Nandigram, had set the stage for the Trinamool’s spectacular ascension to power. Five years down the line, land acquisition and industrialisation are still the focus in the constituency, where the bare structure of Tata Motors small car factory presented a surrealistic sight precipitating Bengal’s industrial decline.
Thursday saw BJP’s Babul Supriyo, the MP from Asansol, campaigning in Jaynagar, Kulpi, Khankul as well as in Kolkata Port and Bhabanipur.
Sweets(sandesh) are made of by pure chana , Symbol of different parties along with Mamata Banejee and Narendra Modi sells at a sweet shop in South Kolkata . The cost of one 250 gm sandesh is Rupees 125 . Express photo by Partha Paul.Sweets(sandesh) are made of by pure chana , Symbol of different parties along with Mamata Banejee and Narendra Modi sells at a sweet shop in South Kolkata . The cost of one 250 gm sandesh is Rupees 125 . (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)Likewise, Congress’ Sachin Pilot campaigned at Kolkata Port. Later, he slammed the BJP, accusing it to cozying up to Trinamool. Former Indian cricket skipper and Congress leader, who also campaigned for the Left-Congress combine, said: “I have come to you, seeking votes for our candidates… I hope you will not run me out.”
The CPM wasn’t far behind. Ashok Bhattacharya, the leader behind the electoral understanding, campaigned for Sujan Chakraborty — former MP from Jadavpur — contesting in the traditional Left bastion that Trinamool annexed in 2011.
Meanwhile, with less than two days before the 53 constituencies in South Kolkata, Hooghly and South-24 Parganas go to polls, the Election Commission has almost doubled the number of central police observers in the three areas.
Mamata was quick to retaliate. “After destroying Bengal, they are asking Delhi (read Election Commission) to impose curfew. People will snatch their democratic rights… People have to come out and vote. They cannot move out… what is this? They are just imposing Section 144 (prohibitory orders) to restrict movement. Since they (Opposition) are scared that they can’t win, they are saying impose curfew,” she said.
WATCH INDIAN EXPRESS VIDEOS HERE
Congress nominates AK Antony for Rajya Sabha election from Kerala.
Congress state president, V M Sudheeran, on Saturday said the party has decided to field Antony as the candidate for RS elections.. A K Antony
Former Defence Minister A K Antony will be the Congress candidate f...
Situation did go out of control govt takes collective responsibility for any lapse: Captain Abhimanyu.
During the agitation, properties, establishments and a house owned by Abhimanyu’s family were also torched by protesters in Rohtak. . Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu at The Indian Express office in...
Govt failed to anticipate scale of stir, says Haryana minister on Jat quota agitation.
He added that the government has taken “collective responsibility” for the absence of an immediate administrative response to prevent the situation from getting out of control.. Haryana Finance Minister...
Environment agencies cavalier, force courts to intervene: CJI.
CJI Thakur said the Supreme Court would have had little role to play had the government agencies been doing their job properly.. Chief Justice T S Thakur
WITH PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and Environment Minist...
Assam board exam answer-sheets gutted in fire.
Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Vasant Vishal Solanki said preliminary inquiries did not show any apparent sign of accidental fire occurring due to an electricity short circuit. .
The Assam government Friday ordered...
Sukma: 3 CRPF men killed in encounter with Maoists.
Officials said while two commandos, identified as constables Linju N and Fateh Singh had succumbed to their bullet injuries on Thursday, their collegaue Lakshman Singh died on Friday..
Three CRPF personnel have...
Gujarat Quota stir: Man takes own life to make govt wiser.
Upleta town also observed a bandh while its major villages like Bhayavadar and Moti Paneli remained shut as well..
Upleta and Dhoraji towns of Rajkot remained shut on Friday to mourn death of a youth who had al...
Asaram case: SC declines to order CBI probe into missing witnesses.
A bench of justices Anil R Dave and Adarsh Goel said it could be raised before the Allahabad High Court as complaints on it have been lodged in Uttar Pradesh. . Asaram Bapu
The Supreme Court Friday declined to ...
Several complaints later, HRD Ministry moves to sack Pondicherry varsity V-C.
Sources said the HRD Ministry has decided to process Krishnamurthy’s case as it has given her enough opportunity to present her side of the case.. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
Emboldened by the Presid...
Old meets new in riot shadow: pro-minority seen as anti-national.
Today it’s India vs Pak within country, not just on borders, says BJP MLA.. At a refugee camp in Muzaffarnagar. Express archive
In Muzaffarnagar, BJP-ABVP have taken out no marches on the JNU issue so far...
When I leave office, I will speak of it more freely: Arvind Subramanian. Gives examples from history
How a country deals with its social divisions plays a major role in the trajectory of its economic developmen...
Inquiry clears her but Leftist Allahabad University student head faces exit.
While the report concludes that Singh’s seat should have gone to a reserved candidate, it makes clear that the “mistake” was committed by university staff involved in the selection process.. The i...
The more Rohiths you kill, more will emerge from every house: Kanhaiya Kumar.
Kanhaiya Kumar: "I am not a politician, I am a student. I have no intention of joining mainstream politics or contesting any election." . JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar with the union Vice President Shehla Rashid a...
Indian nun among 16 killed by gunmen in Yemen; victims handcuffed, shot in the head.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urges Indians in ‘such danger zones’ to return home . Security forces at the retirement home in Aden, Friday. (AP Photo)
An Indian nun was among 16 peopl...
Sexual harassment case: Delhi HC dismisses plea to cancel R K Pachauris bail.
The court said that "very cogent and overwhelming circumstances" were necessary for an order of cancellation of bail which has already been granted.. The court said while granting relief to R K Pachauri, the trial ...
MP: House panel to help students deal with exam stress.
Stressing on the need of moral education, yoga and meditation, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said sports period will be made compulsory in schools..
Madhya Pradesh Assembly Friday unanimously decided to form a House...
Bihar: Oppn attacks Nitish govt as Tej Pratap skips House session again.
When JD(U)’s Phulwari Sharif MLA Shyam Rajak asked a question as to why the sex ratio in Bihar was increasing, rural development minister Shravan Kumar stood up to answer. .
The Opposition BJP Friday targ...
After PA Sangmas death, 7-day mourning in Meghalaya.
In Shillong, where the Meghalaya assembly’s budget session had just begun, Speaker Abu Taher Mondal broke the news after Governor’s address and adjourned the House for the day..
The demise of Meghal...
Sumitra Mahajan recalls PA Sangma: He would try wit, humour and silence, whichever way it worked.
After he ceased being the Speaker, Sangmaji never used his erstwhile position to seek time in the House for speaking.. PM Narendra Modi, Sumitra Mahajan pays last respects to former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma at ...
PA Sangma: Remembered, an important voice of the Northeast.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders today condoled the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma.. Former Lok Sabha speaker P. A. Sangma
Terming his contribution in the deve...