Six constituencies are going to the poll in West Bengal on Thursday in the second phase which will seal the fate of 78 candidates.
The seats are spread over the districts of Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad districts in north and central Bengal.
President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit and Mamata Banerjee’s bete noire Deepa Dasmunshi are among the candidates.
Abhijit had won the Jangipur seat by a slender margin of 2,536 votes in a 2012 by-election when his father Pranab Mukherjee vacated the seat to become the President of India.
While five of the six seats – Raiganj, Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad – were won by the Congress in 2009 general elections, which it fought in alliance with the TMC in West Bengal, the Balurghat seat was won by the RSP.
Interestingly, the TMC has chosen as its candidate the brother of ailing Congress leader and former Raiganj MP Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, whose wife is Deepa, making it a contest within the family.
The other important candidates in fray are sitting MP Mausam Noor of Congress from Maldaha Uttar, where she is being challenged by popular band singer Soumitra Ray of TMC.
Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury will seek re-election as a Congress nominee from Maldaha South where a total of 17 candidates are in the fray, one of the highest in the state.
A total of 83,06,756 voters will get the opportunity to exercise their franchise in the six seats spread. Of these, 43,00,732 are male voters, 40,05,930 are female voters and 94 are from the third gender.