Assembly Election 2021 LIVE Updates: Clashes erupted between TMC and BJP supporters in Hooghly’s Arambag in West Bengal, as voting in Assembly elections is underway
Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Updates: Clashes erupted between TMC and BJP supporters in Hooghly’s Arambag in West Bengal, as voting in Assembly elections is underway.
Four EVMs and a similar number of VVPATs were found at the house of a Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal’s Howrah district, following which a poll official was suspended, a senior officer said on Tuesday.
There have been four reported incidents of EVM malfunction in Kerala so far. The incidents have been reported from Kannur, Thrissur, Trivandrum and Idukki, reported News18
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram cast vote in polling booth Chittal Achi Memorial High School in Kandanur, Sivaganga district
People in Tamil Nadu started lining up early in the morning eagerly to cast their votes. Actors Rajinikanth and Ajith Kumar were among the early voters in Chennai.
While it is the single phase of polls in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, it is the third and last phase of election in Assam and the third of eight phases in West Bengal.
Four states and a Union territory are set to vote in Assembly elections scheduled to be held today (Tuesday, 6 April).
Campaigning for the 6 April election in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry came to a close on Sunday evening.
On the same day, by-polls to Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu and Malappuram Parliamentary seat in Kerala will also be conducted. The number of seats that will go to polls in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are 31, 40, 234, 140 and 30 respectively.
The constituencies in West Bengal that will vote on Tuesday will be spread over three districts, Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas, and will see 205 candidates in the fray. The Trinamool Congress and BJP have fielded candidates in all 31 seats. Meanwhile, the Samyukt Morcha parties CPM, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Congress have fielded candidates for 13, two, one and seven candidates respectively.
The Indian Secular Front has fielded candidates in eight seats, located in the minority-dominated areas of South 24 Parganas. The BJP has pegged its poll pitch in the issues of ‘infiltration’ and migration of locals to other states for work, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged the electorate to ensure there is no split in minority votes.
Of the 31 seats, eight are located in Hooghly district, seven in Howrah and 16 in South 24 Parganas district. The key constituencies include Tarakeshwar in Hooghly, where former Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta will be facing TMC candidate Ramendu Singh Roy. At Raidighi, former minister and senior CPM leader Kanti Ganguly is contesting against TMC’s Alok Jaldata. West Bengal Speaker Biman Banerjee is contesting in Baruipur Paschim, while prominent TMC youth leader Saukat Molla is contesting from the Canning Purba Assembly segment.
Twelve of the 31 constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. About 78 lakh voters will be able to exercise their franchise across 10,871 booths.
West Bengal recorded 80.43 percent voter turnout in Phase 2 of the Assembly polls on 1 April. Bankura district, with 82.78 percent, witnessed the highest turnout while South 24 Parganas registered the lowest turnout at 79.66 percent.
In Assam, a total of 337 candidates, including 25 women, are in the fray. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is contesting from Jalukbari, Chandra Mohan Patowary from Dharampur, Siddhartha Bhattacharya from Gauhati East, Asom Gana Parishad’s Phanibhushan Choudhury from Bongaigaon, BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Patacharkuchi, Pramila Rani Brahma from Kokrajhar-East and Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania from Barama.
On the last day of campaigning on Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal led BJP’s charge for the third phase in Assam. In response, the Mahajot alliance, comprising Congress, AIUDF and eight other parties, too intensified campaign even as the BJP claimed it reached the magic number to form the government in the state in the first two phases itself.
The fate of 20 sitting MLAs, including eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the AIUDF and BPF and one from AGP, will be decided in the final phase. Singer Kalpana Patowary is contesting on an AGP ticket from Sarukhetri, while journalists Manjit Mahanta and Hridyananda Gogoi are locked in a battle in Dispur on Congress and NCP tickets respectively.
Two newly formed parties, the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and jailed activist Akhil Gogoi’s Raijor Dal (RD), are contesting the polls together. The ruling BJP is contesting 20 constituencies while its allies AGP in 12 and UPPL in eight. The Congress is contesting 23 seats while its partners AIUDF in 12, BPF in eight and CPM in one.
There are 79,19,641 voters in phase three, of which 40,11,539 males, 39,07,963 females and 139 transgenders. The seats are spread across 12 districts including three in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).
Assam recorded 76.96 percent turnout across 39 Assembly constituencies in Phase 2 of the Assembly polls on 1 April. Nalbari district, with 86.69 percent, witnessed the highest turnout while Cachar registered the lowest turnout at 72.28 percent.
In Tamil Nadu, over 6.28 crore eligible voters will choose between the 3,998 candidates who are contesting in the polls that will decide whether it will a hat-trick of terms for the AIADMK or the return of DMK after a decade in opposition. Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, DMK President MK Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan are in the fray
In their “final appeal” to voters, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam sought votes to ensure “Amma rule” continued in the state, referring to the party-led government. DMK leader Stalin, meanwhile, sought an opportunity for the party-led Secular Progressive Alliance. AIADMK is part of the NDA, the other constituents being the BJP, PMK and some local outfits.
The police have made elaborate security arrangements for polling day, deploying over 9,000 personnel in the Cuddalore, Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts.
In Kerala, 2.74 crore voters exercising their franchise will decide the fate of 957 candidates, including high-profile leaders and Independents. An array of ministers and several sitting MLAs from both the traditional coalitions: the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) are seeking another term.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, health minister KK Shailaja, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Power Minister MM Mani and Higher Education Minister KK Jaleel are among the prominent personalities trying their electoral luck from the ruling side. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, senior leaders K Muraleedharan, PT Thomas and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan are among those contesting from the UDF fold.
The election is crucial for an array of BJP leaders, including former Mizoram Governor Kummam Rajasekharan, ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, who joined the saffron party recently, state president K Surendran, senior leader Shobha Surendran, Rajya Sabha members Suresh Gopi and KJ Alphons, and Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani who recently snapped decades-long ties with the UDF and joined hands with the Left front.
The total electorate in the state includes 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, according to Election Commission figures.
Puducherry and its outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam go to Assembly polls on Tuesday in single phase.
There are 30 Assembly segments, including five reserved constituencies, where a keen contest between the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance and the AINRC-led NDA will be witnessed. The chief contestants are AINRC founder leader N Rangasamy seeking election from Thattanchavady in Puducherry and the lone seat in Yanam an enclave of Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh.
The PCC president AV Subramanian is seeking election from his home town of Karaikal (north). AIADMK convenors A Anbalagan and Om Sakthi Segar are testing their luck in Uppalam and Orleanpet segments respectively. Anbalagan has been holding the Uppalam constituency consecutively since 2001.
Four former ministers MOHF Shah Jahan, M Kandasamy and R Kamalakannan are contesting from Kamaraj Nagar, Embalam (reserved) and Tirunallar, respectively. Shahjahan had been contesting from Kalapet segment all along but now he is fielded by the Congress in Kamaraj Nagar and he is pitted against the BJP candidate A John Kumar.
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