Will Mamata Banerjee’s decision to contest from Nandigram work in her favour or will her protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari handover the high profile constituency to the BJP? All eyes are set on the Nandigram constituency as it goes to polls today along with 29 other seats in the second phase of state polls. The northeastern state of Assam – where the first phase of polls were held on March 27 along with Bengal – is also expected to see high profile candidates, including a numbers of ministers in the outgoing government, as 345 candidates battle for the 39 seats that go to polls in the second phase.
For Ms Banerjee, and the BJP, the battle for Nandigram is a prestige fight because it was the 2007 anti-land acquisition movement in the region that helped her capture power in the state for the first time.
Trinamool and BJP are contesting in all the 30 seats, while CPI(M) is contesting in 15 and its alliance partners of Sanjukta Morcha the Congress and ISF are competing in 13 and two seats respectively.
In Assam, the ruling BJP is contesting in 34 seats and its allies, the AGP in six and the UPPL in three. The Congress, meanwhile, is contesting in 27 while its partners, the AIUDF, in eight and BPF in four.
West Bengal will vote in eight-phases while the exercise will be completed in Assam in three phases on March 27, April 1 and 6.
The state polls to the two states apart from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry are the first, after the assembly elections in Bihar, to be held during the pandemic.