In the poll-bound states of Assam and West Bengal, the high-voltage electioneering campaign for the First Phase  of Assembly Elections reached crescendo before its conclusion this evening. The campaign is gaining momentum in respect of the Second and Third Phase of Assembly Elections in Assam and West Bengal and also for the single-phase elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry.

In Assam, 264 candidates are in fray for the 47 Assembly Constituencies that will go to polls on Saturday during the First of three-phase elections. There are three main alliances this time including the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance with partners Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and Mahajot or Grand Alliance led by the Congress. It includes All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) and the Left parties while yet another conglomerate of Assom Jatiya Party (AJP) and Raijor Dal is also there. Congress has fielded 43 candidates, AJP has 41, BJP-39, AGP-10 while 78 independents along with others are also trying their luck.

In West Bengal, 191 candidates will be vying for the 30 seats during the initial phase. The state is witnessing eight-phase elections. Out of 30 seats, BJP is contesting in 29 and alliance partner AJSU is fighting from the Baghmundi seat in Purulia district while TMC is contesting in 29 seats and supporting an independent candidate in Joypur Constituency after the nomination of the party candidate was rejected. Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukt Morcha.

The Second Phase of polling in these two states will be conducted on 1st of April in 39 Assembly Constituencies of Assam where the total number of candidates will be 346 and that in case of 30 Constituencies of West Bengal will be 171.

Third Phase polling in these two states will be held on 6th of April when 338 candidates will be contesting for the 40 seats of Assam and 205 candidates for 31 seats of West Bengal.

The single-phase polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu along with the Union Territory of Puducherry will also be held on 6th of the next month. While there will be 957 candidates in fray for the 140 Assembly Constituencies of Kerala, the total number of candidates will be 4,125 in respect of 234 Constituencies in Tamil Nadu. In Puducherry, 324 candidates will be vying for the 30 Assembly seats.

Besides, the Lok Sabha by-polls will be conducted simultaneously for Kanniyakumari seat in Tamil Nadu where there will be 12 candidates in the fray and also for Malappuram seat in Kerala where six candidates will be taking part in the electoral battle.

The scrutiny of nomination papers filed for the Fourth Phase of Assembly Elections in West Bengal was conducted yesterday and the candidates can withdraw their names till tomorrow. Meanwhile, the nomination process for the Fifth Phase will continue till 30th of March and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 31st of March. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 3rd of April.  

The nomination process is also on for By-Elections of two Lok Sabha seats including Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Belgaum in Karnataka along with 14 Assembly Constituencies in eleven states. The ACs going in for the by-polls include three in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Uttarakhand. During the Fourth Phase of Assembly Elections, 44 ACs in West Bengal will go to polls on 10th of April while 45 ACs will go to polls in the Fifth Phase on 17th of April.

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