West Bengal to have five-phase Lok Sabha polls from April 17
The upcoming Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal will be a five-phase one and held between April 17 and May 12 along with the bye-elections to six Assembly seats.
Kolkata: The upcoming Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal will be a five-phase one and held between April 17 and May 12 along with the bye-elections to six Assembly seats, state`s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta said here on Wednesday.
Elaborating on the poll schedule, Gupta said the state would go to polls on April 17, 24, 30, May 7 and 12, while counting would be held on May 16 along with the entire country.
The four Lok Sabha seats - Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling - would go to the polls on April 17.
The six Lok Sabha seats Raiganj, Balurghat, Malda (North), Malda (South), Jangipur and Murshidabad would go to the polls on April 24.
The nine Lok Sabha seats Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan (East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum would go to the polls on April 30.
The six Lok Sabha Seats - Jhargram, Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur and Asansol - would go to the polls on May 7.
Finally, the 17 Lok Sabha seats including Baharampur, Krishnagar, Ranaghat, Bongaon, Barrackpur, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Joynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata (South), Kolkata (North), Tamluk, Contai and Ghatal would go to the polls on May 12.
While the bye-elections in Kumargram and Moynaguri Assembly segments would be held on April 17, Galsi Assembly seat would go to the bye-elections on April 30.
Bye-elections in Kotulpur Assembly seat would be held on May 7, while Santipur and Chakdaha Assembly seats would go to the bye-elections on May 12, the CEO said.
With the announcement of the elections by the EC, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) would come into effect immediately from today, Gupta said adding all political parties must follow them.
All important events related to the elections must be videographed or photographed, he said.
For the first time, a number of awareness observers would be deployed in the coming General Elections, besides a general observer and an expenditure observer for each seat.
Stating that the final electoral roll published on January 6 would remain, the CEO said it would be updated continuously till the last date of nomination.
He, however, appealed to the electorate to check their names in the final electoral roll and take appropriate action immediately if their names were not in the roll.
The election officials would organise booth-wise camps on March 9 for deletion or inclusion of names in the roll, Gupta said.
The polling would be done on EVMs, which have already reached the state and first level checks have been completed, he said, adding NOTA (None Of The Above) would be included in the list for the first time.
All polling booths would have basic minimum facilities for the convenience of voters, Gupta said.
The Commission would put into force various IT-related measures to ensure smooth and uninterrupted polling process.
Meanwhile, the CEO and his officials today held a meeting with all recognised political parties in the state directing them on pursuing the guidelines as per the MCC.
Directives on election manifesto and mandatory items in affidavits for filing nomination have also been briefed during the all-party meeting, sources said.
Administration in all districts have also been given necessary instructions including maintenance of law and order, special drives and to ensure preventive steps, the CEO added.