NEW DELHI: Voting for the second phase of the Assembly elections in Assam and West Bengal began on Thursday.
The candidates from 30 constituencies in West Bengal and 39 constituencies in Assam are in the fray for the election to the state assembly.
Here are the key points:
Mahua Moitra alleges over 150 EVMs malfunctioned in Bengal phase II polls
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra on Thursday alleged that over 150 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are malfunctioning since the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections began on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter, she made a snide remark towards the Election Commission of India (ECI), saying that it could have put half as much effort into ensuring no EVM glitches as it did into transferring police officials.
Assam has shown red card to lies of Congress: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Assam has given the “red card” to the lies of Congress.
At a rally in Kakrajhar on Thursday, PM said people of state have shown Congress-led alliance a ‘red card’, using the terminology of football.
“People of Assam have given blessings to NDA in 1st phase of assembly poll. Peace, progress, protection is our mantra for Bodoland territorial region,” said PM Modi.
Mamata will lose, claims Suvendu after casting vote
Speaking to reporters after casting his vote in Nandigaram, Suvendu Adhikary said that he was confident that Mamata Banerjee will lose the polls.
“I have a very old relationship with the people of the area. I have a personal relationship with almost every person in Nandigram. Pretty confident that I will win the election,” Adhikari said.
“Entire villages have come out to vote in favour of the BJP. I will urge the people to come out early and cast their votes. There were reports of problems at some booths but those have now been solved. The polling is happening peacefully,” he said.
Mamata to stay for whole day in Nandigram to monitor situation
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has decided to stay at her war room in the Reyapara area during the polls on Thursday in the Nandigram assembly constituency where she is locked in a fierce prestige battle with confidante-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP.
She is monitoring the situation in the high-profile constituency.
According to the TMC sources, Banerjee, who had earlier decided to leave the area for campaigning in North Bengal after the polling ended at 6:30 PM on Thursday, changed her plans this morning.
Fate of 191 candidates in Bengal, 345 candidates in Assam to be sealed today
The Election Commission has deployed around 651 companies of central forces, apart from the state police, to provide security in West Bengal for the polling in 30 constituencies.
A total of 210 companies of central armed police forces have been deployed in Paschim Medinipur, 199 in Purba Medinipur, 170 in South 24 Parganas and 72 in Bankura, the officials said.
TMC and BJP are contesting all 30 seats, while the CPM is in the fray in 15 constituencies and its alliance partners Congress and ISF are fighting in 13 and two seats, respectively.
In Assam, among those contesting the elections in this phase are five ministers and the deputy speaker of the outgoing House. A total of 310 companies of security forces have been deployed to carry out strict vigil and prevent any untoward incident. Around 42,368 polling personnel have been deployed, of whom 1,516 were dispatched two days in advance to far-flung areas, particularly in Dima Hasao and East and West Karbi Anglong district.
The ruling BJP is contesting 34 seats, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is fighting in six constituencies and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) in three.
In the ‘Mahajot’ (Grand Alliance), the Congress is contesting in 28, the AIUDF in seven and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) in four. The newly-floated Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) is contesting in 19 seats.
There is a direct contest between the NDA and the Grand Alliance in 25 seats, while the rest of the constituencies are witnessing a triangular fight.
The third and final phase of the elections to the 40 seats will be held on April 6. The votes will be counted on May 2.
(With inputs from agencies)