Fifth phase of West Bengal assembly poll begins

Kolkata: Amid tight security, polling began this morning for the fifth of the six-phase West Bengal Assembly election across 38 constituencies spread over four Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapur, Bankura, Purulia and parts of Burdwan.

An electorate of over 74.17 lakhs will elect their representatives from among 193 candidates, including Health Minister and CPI(M) stalwart Suryakanta Mishra and WBPCC President Manas Bhunia.

Of the 38 seats, 12 are in West Midnapur, five in Purulia, nine in Bankura and 12 in Burdwan district.

The Left Front is contesting all the 38 seats while Trinamool Congress has fielded candidates in 33 and alliance partner Congress in five.

The BJP has fielded candidates in all the seats.

Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful polling with deployment of around 600 companies of central paramilitary forces besides state forces, according to election office sources here.