37.53 LAKH VOTERS TO SEAL THE FATE OF 1,075 CANDIDATES IN 144 MUNICIPAL SEATS
By bappaditya paul
KOLKATA WILL GO TO the civic polls on Saturday with over 37.53 lakh electors registered to exercise their franchise to seal the fate of 1,075 contestants.
A recent opinion poll conducted by Bengali TV news channel ABP Ananda has projected a clean sweep for the Trinamul Congress, which is currently ruling the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The polls will start at 7 am and is scheduled to close at 3 in the afternoon. But the voting may continue for a few more hours depending on the number of voters queuing up before the deadline ends.
KMC has 144 municipal wards after three wards were added to it from Joka in South 24-Parganas about a year ago.
In the 2010 KMC polls, when the number of wards was 141, Trinamul had won 95, Left Front 32, Congress 10, BJP three and one seat was wrested by an Independent.
In Saturday’s elections, 1,075 candidates will slog it out for the 144 wards. They include 144 candidates from Trinamul, 143 from Congress, 142 from BJP, 105 from CPI-M, 14 from CPI, 11 from Forward Bloc, 10 each from RSP and BSP, five from Suci, three from CPI-ML, one from RJD and there are 483 Independents.
Among the 37.53-lakh voters, the number of male voters is around 20-lakh, females 17.52-lakh and there are 20 voters categorised as third gender.
The number of polling booths is 4,704 and they are housed in 1,516 polling premises.
Kolkata Police said that they were pressing in 32,000 security personnel, including three companies of Central troops, for Saturday’s polls.
The Central troops have been divided into 48 smaller units and are being deployed in all the eight police divisions at the rate of six units each.
Kolkata Police and the State Election Commission (SEC) are deploying one Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) each to monitor the polls.
The SEC has opened a control room for public with the numbers being ~ 2287-0522 and 2287-0553.