Kolkata: Finally after three months of wait, the day has come that would decide the fate of Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. In the toughest-ever electoral battle in West Bengal, the votes of around 4.74 crore people would decide the fate of 1792 contestants fighting for 294 assembly seats in the state on Friday.

Of these candidates, there are few legislators who held the office for four to eight times and the maximum such contestants are from the Left Front.

The Election Commission officials on Thursday were busy preparing for counting and the candidates along with their supporters are also waiting with bated breath for the results.

Though most all the exit polls hinting at end of 34-year-old rule of CPI (M) in the state, Left Front chairman Biman Bose, however has claimed that the Left Front will retain power. He has even fixed the time for the press conference to be convened on Friday.

Meanwhile, the EC has completed the preparations for the counting of 294 assembly seats.

Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said, “There will be 87 counting venues with 312 halls for counting the results of 294 constituencies spread over 20 electoral districts. There will be 4605 tables with 14,500 people for the counting process. About 75 companies of Central forces will be deployed to guard the counting centers, beside state forces.”

The EC further informed that a three-tier security arrangement has been made and the whole process of counting would be videographed to record any untoward incident.

He, however, expressed confidence that the maximum results would be out in the post-launch hours.

Assembly Election result : West Bengal  |  Kerala  |  Assam  |  Tamil Nadu  | Puducherry

JPN/Bureau