As voting began for three constituencies in the highly politically polarised West Bengal in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, CPM candidate from Raiganj, Mohammad Salim’s vehicle was attacked in Islampur. The party has alleged that the Trinamool Congress (TMC ) is behind the attack.

Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, and Raiganj with a total of 49,32,346 voters are going to polls today.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has deployed 15,000 para-military troopers across the three constituencies in addition to the state police.

In the first, there were around 6,000 troopers for 3,844 booths.

West Bengal which has a history of violent clashes is going to polls in all the seven phases.

National Register of Citizens, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and infiltration had taken the centre stage in the election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

This is for the first time in the history of the state that minority appeasement, NRC and infiltration have become major poll planks.

Since Independence, elections have been fought on the basis of ideologies, policies of the government, restoring rights of the opposition parties, development, industrialization, unemployment and food security.

The CPI(M) and the Congress, which are fighting a bitter battle for political survival in the state, are stressing on the issues of employment generation and waiver of farmers loans.

The Left party feels that the TMC and the BJP are playing a “fixed match” in West Bengal as both the parties want to polarize elections by projecting themselves as champions of the Muslims and the Hindus respectively.

The Left Front which had ruled the state for 34 long years since 1977 is now just a shadow of its past.

The Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven-phases for 543 seats on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19, and counting will be on May 23.

(With agency inputs)