Bengal polls move to Saradha playground: voting in 9 constituencies begins

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 10:21 IST
  • Key candidates

    A combination picture of eight key candidates in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, phase 7. (Agencies)

  • Vinod Khanna

    BJP leader and actor Vinod Khanna arrives at the party's national executive in New Delhi. (PTI photo)

  • Vijay Inder Singla

    Sangrur Congress candidate Vijay Inder Singla (R) during campaigning at Malerkotla. (HT photo/Bharat Bhushan)

  • Sonia Gandhi

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi waves at an election meeting at Chevella near Hyderabad. (PTI photo)

  • Sharad Yadav

    A file photo of JD(U) president Sharad Yadav. (HT photo)

  • Shankersinh Vaghela

    A file photo of former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela. (Agencies)

  • Rita Bahuguna Joshi

    Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during a road show for party candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi in Lucknow. (PTI photo)

  • Rajnath Singh

    President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajnath Singh attends an election rally at Kalyan in Mumbai.(PTI photo)

  • Partap Singh Bajwa

    PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa (L) with during a meeting of the Congress workers in Patiala. (HT photo/Bharat Bhushan)

  • Paresh Rawal

    BJP candidate from Ahmedabad East Paresh Rawal is seen during an election rally

Polling in nine parliamentary constituencies began peacefully in West Bengal in the third phase of the five-phase Lok Sabha elections in the state on Wednesday.
 
An electorate 1,39,43,063 would be eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 87 contestants the fray.
 
The seats where polling will be held are Howrah, Hooghly, Serampore, Bolpur, Arambagh, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Birbhum and Uluberia.
 
Among the candidates are BJP's Bappi Lahiri, journalist-turned politician Chandan Mitra and actor George Baker, who carry the hopes of the party leadership to score big for the first time in the state.
 
While most poll analysts rule out the BJP's outright win in any of the nine seats, they all agree on an increase in vote share.
 
Among Trinamool Congress candidates are sitting MPs
Satabdi Roy, Kalyan Banerjee and Sultan Ahmed besides Prasun Banerjee, a former India soccer player.
 
It is a battle for the CPI-M to hold on to the four seats among the nine which it had won the last time.
 
Congress candidate Abdul Mannan is also in fray.
 
There are also 13 women contestants in the election.
 

Arambagh constituency has the highest number of polling stations: 2,053, and Uluberia the lowest with 1,788.
 
The Saradha ponzi scam – which defrauded lakhs of voters in these constituencies – have dominated the campaigning with opposition parties trying to pin down the Trinamool government of Mamata Banerjee for failing to stop the scam.
 
Meanwhile, Trinamool candidate from Birbhum constituency Satabdi Roy apologised for remarks she made during a poll campaign in the area recently.
 
"I'm extremely sorry for what I have said during my poll campaign, if it was really in violation of the model code of conduct," Roy said in a message to state CEO Sunil Gupta on Tuesday night.
 
The Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to Roy, who during campaigning at Mohammad Bazar in her constituency, allegedly promised to give priority in development to the areas which would give her maximum support, inviting charge of violation of model code of conduct by opposition parties.

Here's a map for the constituencies going to polls on Wednesday. On searching, you will get details of all parties fighting from a constituency and key candiates:

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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