The first phase of elections in two of the states -- West Bengal and Assam -- kicked off on Saturday.
In West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are seeking to outdo each other in poll promises and campaign rhetoric.
Thirty seats went to the polls in the first phase (of an eight-phase election!) and include all constituencies in Purulia and Jhargram and some constituencies from Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur. At stake, the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women.
In neighbouring Assam, 47 constituencies voted in the first phase of a three-phased assembly election.
A total of 81,09,815 people were eligible for voting, out of which 40,77,210 are male voters, 40,32,481 are female voters and 114 are third gender voters. There are 264 candidates (241 male and 23 female candidates) in the fray for the first phase.
The polling in the first phase was conducted in 11,537 polling stations, out of which 9,620 are main polling stations and 1,917 auxiliary polling stations.
Is the Trinamool losing the narrative to the BJP? After travelling for almost 13,000 km in the state from October 2020 to December 2020 and covering all constituencies in the state, this is what political analyst Sajjan Kumar found.
From Assam, Khogen Singh writes about Fear, loathing and emergence of new minority politics in poll-bound Assam. A teacher tells him why this time (unlike earlier) the Muslims and Christians will not vote for the BJP.