4 Bengal Assembly constituencies vote for bypolls on Saturday

With the four Assembly constituencies in West Bengal -- Dinhata, Shantipur, Khardaha and Gosaba (SC) going for polls on Saturday, after the recent state Assembly polls in April-May, is going to face by-elections for the second time in six months.
4 Bengal Assembly constituencies vote for bypolls on Saturday
An official checks the temperature of the voter. Image Courtesy: Twitter - @ANI


The four Assembly constituencies were equally shared by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) during the state Assembly polls where the former won the Dinhata and Shantipur seat and the latter bagged the Khardha and Gosaba seat. 
The bypolls in Dinhata in Cooch Behar district and Shantipur in Nadia district became necessary after the winning BJP candidates from Dinhata and Shantipur -- Nishit Adhikary and Subhash Sarkar, respectively, decided to continue as MPs and resigned from their post of MLA. Both the BJP MPs have become ministers in the Modi government. 
On the other hand, the bypolls in Khardha in North 24 Parganas and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas were necessitated because the winning TMC candidates Kajal Sinha and Jayanta Naskar died due to Covid-19 after the Assembly election ended. 
According to political experts, among the four Assembly constituencies Dinhata is going to be the most crucial one because TMC that lost to BJP by a margin of only 57 votes will put in all its effort to wrest this crucial north Bengal seat from the saffron party. The TMC has again fielded Udayan Guha who lost to Nishit Pramanik in the last Assembly polls. The BJP has fielded a new candidate Ashok Mondal against Guha. 
If TMC is trying to regain its lost foothold in Dinhata then BJP's Joy Saha will be fighting a prestige battle against former Minister in Trinamool government, Sovondeb Chattopadhyay in Khardaha. Chattopadhyay, who won from Bhabanipur in the recent Assembly polls resigned to vacate it for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Saha was in the centre of a controversy after he sought blessing from deceased TMC MLA Kajal Sinha's wife Nandita Sinha who blessed him to emerge victorious. 
When the BJP has fielded new faces like Palash Raha in Gosaba and Niranjan Biswas in Shantipur, TMC nominated Brajakishore Goswami, a member of the Vaishnav community in Shantipur and Subrata Mondal in Gosaba. 
The Election Commission has made an extensive arrangement for polls in the four Assembly constituencies and has deployed 92 units of central police forces for the bypolls. The maximum number of central forces is being deployed at Dinhata that shares the border with Bangladesh. As many as 27 companies of central force have been deployed there with 22 at Shantipur, 20 at Khardaha and 23 at Gosaba. 
Eight companies of the central forces would be retained after the bypolls till the counting that is scheduled to be held on November 2. 
There are four separate general, police and expenditure observers respectively, one in each of the constituencies. 
There will be 177 micro-observers and webcasting will be done in 760 polling stations. 
According to the data provided by the EC, the total number of voters, including the service voters in these constituencies are 10,16,766 with 18 candidates contesting. There will be 1,439 polling stations with the highest number 417 located in Dinhata. 
Among the constituencies -- Dinhata in Cooch Behar district has the highest number of voters with 2,98,912, followed by Ranaghat in Nadia with 2,55,334 voters, Khardaha in North 24 Parganas with 2,32,393 and Gosaba (SC) in South 24 Parganas with 2,30,127 voters. 
Female voters will play a crucial role in the elections in all the four constituencies with Gosaba having more female voters in comparison to their male counterparts. There are 1,11,874 female voters in Gosaba against 1,18,247 males. 
The total number of male voters in the four constituencies are 5,20,845 while female voters are 4,95,904. There are 17 third genders but no overseas voters in the four constituencies.

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