Sealing the fate of West Bengal, the last of the 8-phase state elections will be held on Thursday with 35 seats up for grabs. Spread across four districts - Malda (6), Murshidabad (11), Kolkata North (7) and Birbhum (11), the fate of 283 candidate polling on 35 seats will be sealed. With campaigning ending on Monday due to EC's 72 hr silence rule, results of the 294-seat Bengal Assembly polls will be announced on May 2. EC has banned all celebratory processions on May 2, amid a resurging COVID-19 wave.
The Election Commission said that a total of 84,77,728 voters — 43,55,835 male, 41,21,735 women and 158 of the third gender are eligible to vote in the eighth phase polls. The polling will be held between 7 am to 6.30 pm in 11,860 polling booths. The seats up for polls are - Manikchak, Maldaha (SC), English Bazar, Mothabari, Sujapur, Baisnabnagar, Khargram (SC), Burwan (SC), Kandi, Bharatpur, Rejinagar, Beldanga, Baharampur, Hariharpara, Nowda, Domkal, Jalangi, Chowrangee, Entally, Beleghata, Jorasanko, Shyampukur, Maniktala, Kashipur-Belgachhia, Dubrajpur (SC), Suri, Bolpur, Nanoor (SC), Labpur, Sainthia (SC), Mayureswar, Rampurhat, Hansan, Nalhati, Murarai.
Maniktala: A three-way fight will be witnessed between Bengal Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pandey (TMC), former India footballer and BJP candidate Kalyan Chaubey and CPI(M)’s Rupa Bagchi for this Kolkata North constituency. The TMC veteran has held the seat since 2011, trouncing Bagchi by a margin of 36,550 votes in 2011 and defeating CPM's Rajib Majumder in 2016.
Bolpur: A Trinamool bastion in Birbhum district will witness a fight between 2-time MLA & state minister Chandranath Sinha and BJP intellectual Dr. Anirban Ganguly. While Sinha has held this seat since 2011, BJP has fielded Dr. Ganguly who is Director of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) in a bid to attract the 'Bhadralok' vote. This seat which is associated with Rabindranath Tagore has witnessed Sinha defeating Tapan Hore of RSP in 2011 and 2016.
Shyampukur: Another Kolkata North constituency held by Trinamool since 2011 will see a three-way fight between Bengal's Women and Child Development minister Shashi Panja, BJP's Sandipan Biswas and AIFB’s Jiban Prakash Saha. Panja has held the seat since 2011, defeating AIFBs Jiban Prakash Saha with a margin of 27,036 votes in 2011 and AIFB's Piyali Pal in 2016. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won Kolkata North seat by 2500 votes due to TMC in-fighting, which has now been reportedly resolved in this region.
Labhpur: A curious four-way fight will be witnessed between TMC's Abhijit Sinha, CPM's Syed Mahfuzul Karim, BJP's Biswajit Mondal and Independent MLA Monirul Islam. In 2011 & 2016, Islam, who was part of TMC had won the seat which has a 95.08 percent rural population. In 2019, Islam switched to BJP along with Mukul Roy but quit the party's minority cell within six days. Islam eyes to win his turf again.