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Campaigning ends for second phase of West Bengal polls, all eyes on Nandigram

Campaigning for the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections ended on Monday with the prized seat of Nandigram going to polls along with 29 other seats on April 1.

Nandigram is witnessing the most interesting contest of the West Bengal election between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her former party colleague and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.

Adhikari had left the TMC to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year.
Voting will take place on April 1 in constituencies of South 24 Parganas, Bankura and Purba Medinipur.

The state is witnessing a contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the 'Sanjukta Morcha' of comprising the Left, ISF and Congress.

A total of 171 candidates are in the fray in this phase, out of which only 11 per cent (19) are women.

Nandigram saw hectic campaigning by both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the last two days.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held an eight-kilometre 'padayatra' (roadshow) on a wheelchair in Nandigram on Monday. She was injured in an earlier visit to Nandigram.
Communist Party of India-Marxist has fielded Minakshi Mukherjee from Nandigram.The second phase will also decide the fate of some actors in the fray.

They include Soham Chakraborty and Sayantika Banerjee contesting Chandipur and Bankura respectively as TMC candidates and Hiranmoy Chattopadhyay contesting as BJP candidate from Kharagpur Sadar in Paschim Medinipur.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has talked of 'asol parivartan' (real change) and 'sonar Bangla' in its rallies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held rallies in the state and strongly targeted the Trinamool Congress government. BJP chief JP Nadda, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath and Shivraj Singh Chauhan, were among those who campaigned in the state.

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the easiest way to bring 'parivartan' in the state is by ensuring that Mamata Banerjee loses from Nandigram.

Apart from West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, some central leaders of Congress campaigned for the party.

South 24 Parganas has a sizeable population of the Muslim community. The region largely voted for Trinamool Congress in the last election but BJP has made inroads which was reflected in the party's performance in the last Lok Sabha polls in the state.

While Purba Medinipur is regarded as the home turf of Adhikari clan, they are also seen to have sway on several seats in adjoining districts of Bankura and Paschim Medinipur.

The first phase of West Bengal Assembly elections on March 27 saw nearly 80 per cent polling. The state will see eight-phased polling for its 294 seats. (ANI)

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