West Bengal faces crucial election phase
Kolkata: Wednesday's polling for the third of the ongoing six-phased West Bengal assembly elections is seen as the most decisive considering that it will not only decide who wins the Bengal election, but also the fate of high-profile candidates from both the rival groups.
As many as 75 constituencies go to the polls, including that of Kolkata and the two adjoining districts of North and South 24 Parganas. The fate of 479 candidates, including that of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and nine of his cabinet colleagues, will be decided by over 14 million voters.
While Bhattacharjee is competing against his one-time chief secretary Manish Gupta, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta is up against former FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra. Another key personality is Housing Minister Gautam Deb who is largely responsible for creation of a new satellite township in Rajarhat. He is pitted against noted theatre personality Bartya Basu.
On the other side of the divide, key personalities include Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly Partha Chatterjee,
Kolkata Mayor Shovan Chatterjee and Trinamool Congress (TMC) State President Subrata Bakshi.
His victory is critical for the TMC because he is a confidant of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, and in the event of a TMC victory, Bakshi is tipped to give up his MLA seat for Banerjee and contest from her Lok Sabha seat of South Kolkata.