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Around 16 pc polling in three LS seats in Bengal till 9 AM

Around 16 pc polling in three LS seats in Bengal till 9 AM

Kolkata, Apr 26 (UNI) An estimated 16 per cent of over 51,17,955 electorate exercised their franchise in the second phase election to three Lok Sabha seats of Darjeeling, Balurghat and Raiganj in North Bengal districts in the first two hours till 9 AM on Friday.
According to Election Commission sources, while Darjeeling and Raiganj accounted for 16 per cent polling, Balurghat for 15 per cent.
So far election office has received 241 complaints from the three Lok Sabha seats.
About 272 companies of Central Armed Forces and nearly 13,000 state police personnel have been deployed to ensure the ECI-mandated free and fair polling.
Over 51,17,955 electorate, including 25,10,356 women, are expected to exercise their franchise to return three winners among 47 aspirants from different political parties, including that of ruling Trinamool Congress, principal Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left Front in about 5298 polling stations.
The three Parliamentary Constituencies - Darjeeling, Raiganj (Uttar Dinajpur) and Balurghat (Dakshin Dinajpur) - in as many contiguous districts fall in two international borders of Bangladesh.
Of the total booths, 1334 have been identified as vulnerable where
some nine ECI appointed observers, three each of General, Police and Expenditure have been overseeing the ongoing preparation and arrangement for polling.
The number of male and female voters has increased considerably this time. While Darjeeling accounts for 17,65,744, including 8,81,368 women, Raigunj accounts for 17,90,245, including 8,65,320 women, and Balurghat 15,61,966, including 7,13 668 women.
So is the number of third gender voters. A total of 210 third
gender electors will also cast their votes, this time, the maximum
number being in Raiganj Constituency.
In Raiganj, total 88 third gender voters will be exercising their franchises. In 2019, their numbers were 73 for the Raiganj Constituency. Next in comes Balurghat, where 81 third gender electors will cast their votes. In Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency, 41 third gender electors will be exercising
their franchises.
Though the contest on paper looks multi-cornered one, the real fight revolves between the main Opposition BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress as the former has all three sitting MPs.In Darjeeling young Raju Bista once again is trying his political fortune for the saffron brigade, while Gopal Lama and Manisha Tamang are trying their luck for the Trinamool Congress and Congress respectively.Bista has some thorns on his path since BJP rebel Bishnu Prasad Sharma is contesting as an Independent, but the BJP leadershipwas not bothered at all since the voters in the Hills never supported such partyless contestants.For Balurghat sitting MP and Bharatiya Janata Party state chiefSukanta Majumdar is contesting for his second successive termfrom South Dinajpur where state minister Biplab Mitra is seen inaction on behalf of the ruling party.The Left Front has fielded Jaydeb Siddhanta from the RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party).Raiganj, which borders Bihar on one side and Bangladesh on the other, is poised for a triangular contest among Trinamool’s Krishna Kalyani, the BJP’s Kartick Pal and Congress nominee Ali Imran Ramz.Kalyani won the Raiganj Assembly seat on a BJP ticket in 2021 butlater shifted to the Trinamool.The BJP this time replaced sitting MP and former union minister Debasree Chaudhuri with Kartik Pal, a new face as the saffron had some factional issues.Debasree Chaudhuri this time is contesting from Kolkata Dakshin as theBJP nominee.Ramz was earlier elected to the Assembly from Chakulia on an All IndiaForward Bloc ticket.UNI PC-SJC KK

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