Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan Among Early Voters as 4 States, 1 UT Go to Polls Today; Sec 144 in All 31 Bengal Constituencies


Polling will be held between 7AM to 6.30PM in 10,871 polling stations in the 31 assembly constituencies. A total 78,52,425 voters in the three districts will decide the fate of 205 candidates in Tuesday’s polling. The prominent among them are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) senior leader Kanti Ganguly contesting from Hoogly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas respectively.

“A decision was taken to impose 144 CrPC in all the 16 assembly constituencies of South 24 Parganas (Part II), seven in Howrah (Part I) and eight in Hooghly (Part 1). All the booths in the 31 constituencies are considered to be sensitive,” the official said. The order restricts unlawful assembly and movement, holding of public meetings, carrying of weapons, sticks, banners, placards by anybody as well as shouting slogans and using loudspeakers, he clarified.

“It , however, does not apply to any functions religious, wedding or funeral and gathering of people inside polling booths for voting purpose following the rules. It prohibits the assembly of five or more persons, besides imposing other restrictions,” he added. The EC also asked the authorities of the three districts to execute all the pending arrest warrants by Monday night and take people accused in various cases into custody, he said.

The EC had imposed similar prohibitory orders in Nandigram assembly constituency, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a candidate and the polling was held in the second phase on April 1. At least 618 companies of central armed police forces have been deployed in the 31 constituencies. The highest deployment is in South 24 Parganas district where 396 companies of CAPF have been sent, while 166 companies have been sent to Hooghly and 133 to Howrah rural areas for Tuesday’s polling, the official added.

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