Kolkata: The last 14 constituencies in the sixth and last phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections will go to the polls on Tuesday in Maoist-hit parts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts.
An electorate of over 26.57 lakh voters will decide the fate of 97 candidates.
Prominent candidates in this phase are Susanta Ghosh, a minister and CPM leader and Hema Chowbey of the Congress. Jailed PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who floated an unrecognised political party called Durniti Santras O Samrajyabad Birodhi Ganatantrik Mancha, is contesting as an Independent from the Jhargram seat.
Mahato was denied permission by the jail authorities to campaign in person, but an election rally was organised in his support at Jhargram on Sunday.
Helicopters and satellite phones will be used to ensure rapid response in cases of emergencies with one lakh security personnel, comprising 700 companies of para-military forces and state police deployed, police said.
Of the constituencies going to polls, the highest number of seven seats are in West Midnapore district, followed by four in Purulia and three in Bankura.
The Left Front has fielded candidates in 14 seats, the Trinamool Congress in nine and its ally Congress in four seats. Congress-backed Jharkhand Party (Naren) is contesting in one seat.
The BJP is contesting in all 14 seats. Seven women candidates are in the fray. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee campaigned for their party candidates.
Bhattacharjee urged the electorate to defeat the Trinamool Congress alleging that its victory would enable the Maoists to raise their heads again. The TMC supremo, on the other hand, stressed on the Left Front government's alleged indifference to the plight of the people of Junglemahal.
Mukherjee called on Maoists to shun violence and sit for talks to settle their demands.