- Massive electoral polls amidst the surge
- Schedule from 7 am to 6pm, with stringent COVID norms followed
- Four states and 1 UT to go through elections today
Kolkata: The first ever polls during the pandemic will witness over 20 crore citizens from the poll- bound states. Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will exercise their electoral polls today.
In West Bengal around 31 seats will go to polls in this phase. Both the TMC and BJP are contesting heavily to flag the seats. The Congress, which has allied with the Left, is contesting seven and the CPM 13, with the rest going to smaller allies like the ISF, AIFB and RSP. The big names on the ballot in Bengal today include columnist Swapan Dasgupta, who contests from Tarakeswar on a BJP ticket. Other big names from the BJP include actor and model Tanushree Chakraborty, who contests from Shyampur. Veteran CPM leader Kanti Ganguly will contest from Raigidhi, and the Trinamool’s Ashima Patra – the Minister for Technical Education – will contest from Dhaniakhali.
Tamil Nadu will witness polls for 234 seats. Traditionally, AIADMK and DMK reign the contest with 191 contenders from the ruling party and 188 belonging to the latter. The potential surprise packages in Tamil Nadu are Kamal Haasan’s MNM – which is contesting 142 seats from Coimbatore and the AMMK of TTV Dhinakaran, who is the nephew of expelled AIADMK chief Sasikala. The AMMK is contesting 165 and leaving 60 to the DMDK.
Kerala will vote in a single phase for its 140 seats. CM Pinarayi Vijayan is contesting for 77 seats to retain his power. BJP is contesting for 113.
Last phase of Assam features two biggest contestants from BJP; state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass and Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Health Minister and the party’s strongman in the northeast. Mr Dass will contest from Patacharkuchi in Bajali district. Mr Sarma is contesting from his stronghold of Jalukbari – he is unbeaten here since 2001. Around 40 seats will be held for the contest today.
Puducherry currently under President’s rule after the collapse of V Narayanasamy-led Congress government. The party is contesting 14 of the 30 Assembly seats, with the DMK getting 13 and smaller allies the rest.