Violence mars polls in West Bengal, largest among 5 Indian states bordering Bangladesh
Elections to 59 seats of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, were held yesterday in the sixth round of the seven-phase marathon elections that started on April 11.
The 59 seats contested yesterday include 8 constituencies of West Bengal, which has third largest number of Lok Sabha members with 42 trailed by only Uttar Pradesh (80) and Maharastra (48).
The 8 West Bengal seats are currently held by All India Trinamool Congress led by the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
And, the day’s polling in West Bengal’s 8 constituencies is marred by violence that saw the killing of a worker of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The other 51 seats that were fought yesterday belong to Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Jharkhand.
With the polling in 59 seats yesterday, elections to 483 Lok Sabha seats were held in six phases leaving another 59 to be taken place on May 19, the last phase of the largest democratic practice in the world.
Although the Indian Lok Sabha has 543 seats, polls are being held to 542 seats. Election to one constituency in Tamil Nadu was cancelled for the excess use of money.
The counting of votes and results will be declared on May 23.
Out of 42 seats in West Bengal, polls to 33 seats have already been complete. Elections to the remaining nine including some in Kolkata, the state capital, will be held on May 19.
At present, of 42 West Bengal seats, Trinamool holds 34, All India Congress led by Rahul Gandhi has four while Communist Party of India (Marxist) and ruling BJP have two apiece.
Prime Minister Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata have been engaged in a bitter contest to increase their tallies in the third most populous state in India.
The harsh words both used against each other is everything but sane.
While speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, political analysts, journalists and voters noted that the stake is very high with regard to West Bengal not because of its number and the BJP wants to make greater inroads to the state, but also due to the ruling party’s effort to make up for some seats it might lose in other states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Hindu-speaking states considered as heartland of Hinduism.
They also predicted that Trinamool Congress is set to win most seats in West Bengal while BJP might increase its tally in the expense of the Communist Party and Congress.
Some of them also say that BJP might increase its share of votes as compared with 2014 polls, but the number of seats might not increase.
Ordinary voters told this correspondent that the words used by their leaders sometimes are way out of order and they do not expect such attack against each other in this manner.
They are hoping that once elections will be over, all the leaders will rise above the petty party politics and concentrate on the matters that matter to the common people of the country.