NEW DELHI(PTI): Tight security arrangements have been made for the first phase of Assam and…
New Delhi:The last phase of polling in the month long drawn West Bengal Elections is being held today. 25 seats are in fray. Thousands of security personnel have been stationed in East Midnapore and Cooch Behar districts which are polling today.
An electorate of over 58 lakh is eligible to cast their ballots at 6,774 polling stations between 7 AM to 6 PM. In all, 170 candidates, including 18 women, are in the fray for the last phase. Maintaining a tight security cover, the poll panel has deployed 361 companies of central forces who are assisted by a contingent of 12,000 state police personnel.
Out of the total electors, 27.8 lakh are females while the third gender is a small minority of 68 voters. For the first time since Independence, residents of border enclaves in CoochBehar district will be able to exercise their franchise, thanks to the formal inclusion of the enclaves in the Indian territory last year.
There are 9,776 voters in the enclave, for whom special arrangements and awareness programs have been done. Among them is 103-year-old Asgar Ali of Madhya Mashaldanga who is eligible to vote for the first time in his life.
In East Midnapore, on the other hand, the district administration has taken special intervention to make the elections a disabled friendly one.They have pinpointed 15,500 persons with disability in the electoral rolls.
Each polling premises has a wheelchair, ramp with handrails and braille signage.In the two districts, the commission has so far identified 714 vulnerable hamlets and 1685 vulnerable voters.
Close to 900 trouble-mongers have been identified and action taken against all of them.All eyes will be on Nandigram in East Midnapore district where a violent anti-land acquisition movement had helped uproot the 34-year-long Left Front government.