Calcutta, Apr 17 (PTI): The first of the five-phase Lok Sabha poll in West Bengal began on Thursday in the four constituencies of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar.
Of the 47 candidates, including three women, four each were from Trinamul Congress, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, while two were from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one each from the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc.
There were also 19 others from other registered political parties and eight independents.
Prominent candidates were Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia and TMC nominee Baichung Bhutia from the Darjeeling parliamentary seat, RSP sitting member of Parliament Manohar Tirkey from Alipurduar and CPI(M)'s Mahendra Roy in Jalpaiguri.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Darjeeling had gone to the BJP, while in the other three constituencies Left Front candidates had emerged victorious.
A total of 60,14,258 voters were eligible to vote in 7,443 booths.
Forty polling stations were run by women, of which 28 were in Coochbehar district and eight in Jalpaiguri district, followed by four in Darjeeling.
There were 60 model polling stations with 28 in Jalpaiguri, 25 in Coochbehar and seven in Darjeeling.
Arrangements had been made for web casting and live monitoring of sensitive areas amid tight security provided by central forces which were more than double than the 2011 Assembly elections.