APRIL 29, Monday
* Front Page
72 constituencies in 9 States go to polls in fourth phase today
Unprecedented security in West Bengal after Opposition complains of threats
Special Correspondent, New Delhi
The fourth phase of polling will take place in 72 constituencies across nine States amidst tight security on Monday. In West Bengal, where eight constituencies are going to the polls, unprecedented deployment of the Central forces has been made after the Opposition parties, Congress, CPI(M) and BJP, accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of intimidating their cadre.
Voting will take place in 17 seats in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand and a part of the Anantnag constituency in Jammu & Kashmir.
This is a critical phase for the ruling BJP and its allies as it had swept 56 of these seats in 2014, leaving just two for the Congress and the rest for other Opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress (six) and the Biju Janata Dal (six).
In West Bengal, 561 companies of the Central armed security forces will be deployed, along with 88 companies of quick response teams. The Central forces will be guarding 9,685 polling premises out of a total of 9,804. The election is not only a test for 68 candidates but also one for the Election Commission. There have been stray incidents of violence in the first two phases in the State, and during the third phase one person was killed in violence on polling day in Murshidabad district.
Besides general election and expenditure observers, the Election Commission has for the first time deployed a special police observer and a special observer in the State.
(With inputs from PTI)