Kolkata, April 30 IANS | 7 months ago

Over 20 percent of the electorate voted in the first two hours of polling in West Bengal where elections are udnerway for nine Lok Sabha constituencies Wednesday, officials said.

By-poll is also being held in the Galsi assembly constituency in Burdwan district.

"Over 20 percent polling was recorded till 9 a.m.," an official said here, adding there were no reports of any major disturbances.

The polling was held in 10 of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the first two phases April 17 and April 24.

The third round Wednesday involves 17,332 polling stations spread over Birbhum, Burdwan, Hooghly and Howrah districts.

As many as 87 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha seats and four for the Galsi state assembly seat.

The Trinamool, CPI-M, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are contesting all the parliamentary seats.

The Hooghly constituency includes Singur - synonymous with Trinamool's save farmland movement which catapulted it to power in 2011 by ending the Left Front's 34 years of uninterrupted rule.

Also in focus are the twin seats of Birbhum and Bolpur in Birbhum district that have come under the scanner of the poll panel following complaints by the opposition parties of Trinamool high handedness in the region led by its controversial district chief Anubrata Mondal.

The BJP has fielded celebrities like Bollywood music composer Bappi Lahiri (Sreerampur) and Bengali actor George Baker (Howrah). Journalist Chandan Mitra is the BJP candidate from Hooghly.

Film actor and sitting Trinamool MP Satabdi Roy is seeking re-election from Birbhum, while in Howrah the party has nominated former Indian football captain Prasun Banerjee.

Former union minister Sultan Ahmed of the Trinamool is seeking to retain the Uluberia seat.

In 2009, the Trinamool Congress won five of the nine seats - Uluberia, Howrah, Sreerampur, Hooghly, and Birbhum.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front claimed the remaining four seats of Bolpur, Arambagh, Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman-Durgapur.

(Posted on 30-04-2014)

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