West Bengal goes to polls on 4 April. The Election Commission has split the elections across 294 Assembly constituencies into six phases, with the first phase divided in two parts.
The first phase will see Paschim Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia and Burdwan going to polls. Some forested areas of this region, known as Jungalmahal, was a stronghold of the Maoists. However, the Mamata Banerjee government claims that the region is now free of 'red' terror and the economically backward area is "smiling" because of the government's schemes.
As it is a huge expanse of land and keeping in mind security concerns, the Election Commission has divided the first phase of elections into two parts.
Some of the key candidates from this region are:
The second phase of the elections will begin on 17 April, with Jalpaiguri, Dakhin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Malda and Darjeeling going to polls.
1.Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia will contest on a TMC ticket from Siliguri against Dr Geeta Chatterjee and CPI(M)'s Ashok Bhattacharya.
Bhutia had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling where he lost to BJP's SS Ahluwalia by 196,795 votes.
2. Tollywood actress Locket Chatterjee will contest on a BJP ticket from Mayureshwar. She will lock horns with TMC's Avijit roy and CPI(M)'s Arup Bag.
Murshidabad, Burdwan, Kolkata North and Nadia go to polls on 21 April.
1. Veteran Congress leader Somen Mitra will fight it out with sitting MLA of Chowringhee and TMC leader Nayana Bandopadhyay in Chowringhee. Mitra had a brief stint in TMC as did his wife Sikha Mitra, who won the Chowringhee seat in 2011. She defected to the Congress in 2014.
2. TMC's Smita Bakshi and sitting MLA of Jarasanko will be up against former BJP state president Rahul Sinha.
North 24 Paragana and Howrah go to polls in the fourth phase on 25 April.
1. Kamarhati, North 24 Paragana, will see an interesting clash between former TMC minister and scam-tainted leader Madan Mitra and BJP's state spokesperson and media in-charge, Krishanu Mitra. The Sharada chit fund scam accused will be contesting elections from behind bars.
2. BJP has fielded its state Mahila Morcha chief Roopa Ganguly from Howrah North. She is pitted against another celebrity candidate and former footballer Laxmi Ratan Shukla from TMC.
3. The daughter of cricket administrator Vaishali Dalmiya will contest on a TMC ticket from Bally constituency. She is locked in a traigular fight with CPI(M)'s Anjan Bera and BJP's Kaushik Chakborty.
4. From Basirhat Dakhin, TMC's Dipendu Biswas will fight it out with BJP's Tarfan Ali Gazzi. Biswas, former soccer captain was trounced by a narrow margin in the Basirhat Dakshin bypolls in 2014. BJP had made history by winning an Assembly seat in West Bengal then. The seat gave BJP its only MLA in the state in 15 years - Samik Bhattacharya.
South 24 Paragana, South Kolkata and Hoogly go to polls on 30 April. The fifth phase will see some of the most interesting and heavyweight clashes:
1. The triangular contest between Chief Minister Mamata, Congress' Deepa Dasmunshi and BJP's Chandra Bose is one to watch out for. While most political pundits say that Dasmunshi and Chandra Bose have a difficult task cut out for them as defeating Banerjee, who is contesting for a second run as CM, is next to impossible.
Banerjee had chosen Bhabanipur as her constituency after becoming the chief minister in 2011. TMC leader Subrata Bakshi vacated the seat for her. She won the by-polls with a huge margin, winning close to 78 per cent of the vote share.
However, BJP did pull off a good show in Kolkata South in 2014, coming second to TMC. 295126 votes were polled in favour of BJP candidate Tathagata Roy, currently the Governor of Tripura.
2. CPI(Marxist)'s Sujan Chakraborty will fight it out with TMC's Manish Gupta from Jadavpur. Chakraborty had won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the constituency.
3. The hot-bed of land rights movement against Tata Nano factory in Singur had played a huge role in helping Mamata Banerjee overthrow the over three-decade rule in West Bengal. From this seat, sitting MLA and TMC minister Rabindranath Bhattacharjee is up against CPI(M)'s Rabin Deb and BJP's Suren Patra.
5. Seventy-year-old Abdur Razza Molla will contest from Bhangarh, South 24 Paragana on a TMC ticket. A recent import from CPI(M), he was expelled from his former party in 2014 for anti-party activities. He has been the undisputed king of Canning Purba from the same district between 1977-2011. His opponents are the Left Front's Rashid Gaji and BJP's Abani Kumar Mandol.
6. Popular Tollywood actress Debashri Roy is TMC's star candidate from Raidighi. This will be her second consecutive electoral battle against former CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly, whom she defeated from the same seat in 2011.
The West Bengal elections end on 5 May. This is an interesting phase because for the first time, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves, which had been embedded in Cooch Behar district after merging with India, will vote this year.
All India Trinamool Congress (AITM): 184
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GOJAM): 3
Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM): 40
Indian National Congress: 42
2014 Lok Sabha tally
Total number of Lok Sabha constituency: 42
Congress + : 4
Results will be announced on May 19.