Campaign ends for first phase of polling in West Bengal

April 16th, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) Campaign drums fell silent Saturday in 54 West Bengal assembly constituencies spread across the state’s six northern districts where polling will be held in the first phase of election Monday.

The colourful campaign stretching from the picturesque Darjeeling hills in the extreme north to Malda came to an end at 5 p.m.

The campaign had been by and large peaceful.

Leading political luminaries like Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukheree, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)stalwarts L.K. Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley campaigned for their party candidates.

Left Front chairman and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Biman Bose, CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechuri and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee also wooed voters in the six districts - Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda.

The CPI-M is contesting in 32 seats, the CPI 2, Forward Bloc 10, Revolutionary Communist Party (RSP) 9, Socialist Party 1, the Trinamool Congress 26, the Congress 27, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) one, and the BJP 49.

Altogether 364 candidates are in the fray while the total number of eligible voters is 9,748,839.

West Bengal goes to poll in six phases to elect a 294-member assembly April 18-May 10. The counting of votes will take place May 13.

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