Around 641 women belonging to a minority community will vote for the first time in two polling booths in Raghunathpur constituency in Purulia on Saturday in the fifth phase of West Bengal assembly elections.
“The women had not voted earlier because they did not have electoral photo identity cards since they were unwilling to be photographed by a male photographer. Honouring their wish, a female photographer was employed to take their photos,” district magistrate and district election officer A Singh said on Friday.
Both the booths on Saturday will also have all female polling personnel because the women insisted that they wouldn’t vote otherwise.
“The district administration has also accepted this demand,” Singh said, adding that this would be the first time that women belonging to the community will vote from these two polling booths. The two booths have 1,460 voters of which 641 are minority women.
West Bengal’s Muslims,
once a loyal vote bank of the ruling Marxists, appear noncommittal in the ongoing assembly polls even as the Left Front and rival Trinamool Congress try to woo the community that makes up 28% of the state’s
Political analysts feel Muslim votes could be split between the two political camps this time. “The Muslim vote bank is now a floating one. But the Left will be more alert this time and the Trinamool will have a slight advantage,” said Samir Kumar Das, a political analyst.