West Bengal Assembly polls | Section 144 imposed in all 31 constituencies

The constituencies are spread over the districts of Howrah (Part I), Hooghly (Part I) and South 24 Parganas (Part II).

The Election Commission on Monday described as sensitive all the 31 West Bengal Assembly constituencies where voting will be held in the third phase on Tuesday and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr PC in them, an official in it said.

The constituencies are spread over the districts of Howrah (Part I), Hooghly (Part I) and South 24 Parganas (Part II).

Polling will be held between 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. in 10,871 polling stations in the 31 Assembly constituencies.

A total 78,52,425 voters in the three districts will decide the fate of 205 candidates in Tuesday’s polling. The prominent among them are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, Trinamool minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) senior leader Kanti Ganguly contesting from Hoogly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas respectively.

“A decision was taken to impose 144 CrPC in all the 16 Assembly constituencies of South 24 Parganas (Part II), seven in Howrah (Part I) and eight in Hooghly (Part 1). All the booths in the 31 constituencies are considered to be sensitive,” the official said.

The order restricts unlawful assembly and movement, holding of public meetings, carrying of weapons, sticks, banners, placards by anybody as well as shouting slogans and using loudspeakers, he clarified.

“It , however, does not apply to any religious functions, wedding or funeral and gathering of people inside polling booths for voting purpose following the rules. It prohibits the assembly of five or more persons, besides imposing other restrictions,” he added.

The EC also asked the authorities of the three districts to execute all the pending arrest warrants by Monday night and take people accused in various cases into custody, he said.

The EC had imposed similar prohibitory orders in Nandigram Assembly constituency, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a candidate and the polling was held in the second phase on April 1.

At least 618 companies of central armed police forces have been deployed in the 31 constituencies. The highest deployment is in South 24 Parganas district where 396 companies of CAPF have been sent, while 166 companies have been sent to Hooghly and 133 to Howrah rural areas for Tuesday’s polling, the official added.

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