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West Bengal polls: Campaigning ends ahead of Phase-VI

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Kolkata (West Bengal) | April 20, 2021 1:13:59 AM IST
After high-pitched rallies and roadshows, campaigning ended for the sixth phase of West Bengal assembly polls on Monday.

43 constituencies covering the district of Uttar Dinajpur and a segment of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman will go to polls in the sixth phase of West Bengal assembly elections on Thursday.

As many as 306 candidates are in the fray in the sixth phase.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not miss even a single platform to launch scathing attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. It is also the COVID-19 issue that she used as a weapon against the top BJP leadership.

"Why did not you (Prime Minister) make plans to stop corona in the last six months?... You have to answer this. The Prime Minister is responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. If he would have taken responsibility at the right time then this would not have happened," Mamata said at a public meeting in Nadia.

She also blamed "bohiragoto" (outsiders) goons for spreading COVID-19 in the state, adding that people from outside will now require an RT-PCR test to enter the state.

Speaking at a public gathering in Galsi, Mamata said, "The Centre promised to deliver vaccines to all mothers and sisters but it still has not given. There are around 10,000 people, such 'bohiragoto' goons from outside the state are residing in the state, a maximum of whom have brought COVID-19 here. They are spreading the virus in Bengal."

On the other hand, BJP has put its best efforts to intensify its support base in these constituencies. The party targeted Mamata-led TMC government over appeasement politics, 'tolabaazi' (extortion), syndicate raj and corruption. Further, the purported audiotape of the TMC chief in which she can be heard telling the party candidate from the Sitalkuchi constituency to hold protests with bodies of the four killed in Cooch Behar violence has been in the focus of BJP's attack on TMC.

Prime Minister Modi held mega public meetings ahead of the sixth phase.

"In the last 10 years, Didi's government has made old industries shut and forced youths to migrate. Where there is appeasement, there is poverty, there is discrimination and suppression of hope and aspiration. Didi put the future of millions of Bengal's youth at stake to secure the future of Bhaipo (nephew)," Prime Minister Modi had said.

Shah also held several rallies and public rallies ahead of polling.

Addressing a public meeting in Purba Bardhaman, Shah said, "It is clear that BJP with 122 seats is way ahead of Mamata didi. We want to change the model of 'Bomb, Bandook aur Barood' with 'Vishwas, Vikaas aur Vyapaar."

"Didi has no agenda for the development of Bengal. Didi spends 12 minutes in Bengal and spends 10 minutes abusing Modi and me, two minutes cursing the security forces," he added.

Amid a record spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Election Commission on Friday had decided to curtail the timings of campaigns for the remaining phases and extended the silence period to 72 hours for each of the phases.

The first five phases of the eight-phase West Bengal assembly elections have been completed. Polling for the seventh and the eighth phase will be held on April 26 and April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

 
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