Voting has started for the second phase of the crucial assembly polls 2016 in Assam and Bengal.
In Assam, 61 constituencies will cast their votes today while in Bengal polling began in 31 constituencies spread over three districts.
Assam has a total of 1,04,35,277 voters eligible to cast their ballot in the second phase. Out of this eligible voters, 50,44,051 are women and 22 are the third gender.
At 9 AM, 15.90 % voter turnout was recorded for the second phase polling.
There are 525 candidates in the fray and 48 of them are women. Polling will be held in 12,699 polling stations across the state.
The first phase of polling for 65 constituencies was held in Assam on April 4 which remained peaceful and recorded 83.20 percent of polling.
Thirteen of the 31 constituencies are in West Midnapore and nine each is in Bankura and Burdwan.
An electorate of nearly 70 lakh (69,79,788), including 33,68,311 females and 50 third genders, are eligible to choose their representatives from a field of 163 candidates. Twenty-one of the contestants are women.
At 9 AM, 20 % voter turnout was recorded for the second phase polling.
Voting will be held across 8,465 polling stations including two auxiliary stations amid high security.
The Trinamool, the LF-Congress combine, and the BJP are locking horns in all the seats.
Among the LF constituents, the CPI-M has put up 19 candidates, followed by the Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India Forward Bloc and the Democratic Socialist Party (Prabodh Chandra) in one each. The Congress is in the race in eight constituencies.
Other outfits like Bahujan Samaj party and the Shiv Sena have also fielded a number of candidates.
In the 2011 assembly polls, the Trinamool Congress had bagged 17 and its then ally Congress three of the seats now going for the balloting. The Left Front, then in power, won the remaining 11.
The star candidates in this round include CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra (Narayangarh), state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh (Kharagpur Sadar), former Pradesh Congress president Manas Bhunia (Sabang) and 91-year-old Congress nominee Gyan Singh Sohanpal (Kharagpur Sadar).
Providing the glam touch is Bengali film actor Soham Chakraborty, who has thrown his hat into the ring from Bankura district’s Barjora constituency on a Trinamool ticket.
Voters in 18 constituencies — six in West Midnapore, nine in Purulia and three in Bankura — exercised their franchise on the first polling day on April 4. That was part one of the first phase.
Polling for the remaining phases will be held on April 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5.