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Fifth phase of Bengal polls tomorrow, security tightened


May 6, 2011 - Kolkata

Security arrangements have been stepped up in the Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and parts of Burdwan district for the fifth phase of West Bengal polls, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow.

An electorate of 74,17,723 will decide the political fate of 193 candidates in this phase. Over 9,400 polling booths have been set-up in four districts.

The Election Commission appointed Special Observer Devasish Chakraborty took the stock of the situation of election preparedness at West Midnapore district.

Besides 20 general observers, seven expenditure and four Police observers are constantly monitoring the situation. Two helicopters have been kept ready for air surveillance during the voting.

The May 7 election in these districts appears to be a test for the Left Front's ability to block the threatened inroads by the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee played the development card during her hectic campaign, promising industry, educational institutes and hospitals.

Alleging that the Maoist problem was created by the CPM, Banerjee had said the Marxist party branded as a Maoist whoever protested against the CPM's 'reign of terror'.

The Left leaders, however, had accused Banerjee of making 'false promises' to woo tribals in the region.

Addressing a meeting at Jhargram, Chief Minister and CPM leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had alleged, "If Trinamool Congress wins, the Maoists will raise their heads again in the state. Giving vote to them equals to giving vote to the Maoists."

Of the six phased elections in West Bengal, four have been completed on April 18, 23, 27 and May 3.

The fifth phase will take place on May 7, and the sixth on May 10.

ANI

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