Voting for by-elections to Bhabanipur Assembly seat, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from began at 7 am on Thursday amid tight security and necessary arrangements to conduct the polls if heavy rainfall that led to waterlogging in Kolkata a day ago, continues. Apart from Bhabanipur, voting also began in Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies in the Murshidabad district.
BJP candidate for Bhabanipur, Priyanka Tibrewal alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) was purposely shutting voting machines at a polling booth of ward number 72 and was an attempt at capturing the booth. Tiberwal reached the polling booth to inspect the situation.
Speaking to media persons here, Tibrewal said, “TMC’s Madan Mitra has purposely shut the voting machine here as he wants to capture the booth.”
All eyes are on the Bhabanipur by-election as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from here. CPM has fielded its candidate Srijab Biswas from the constituency. The bypoll was necessitated in Bhabanipur after MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay resigned to pave the way for Banerjee to become the MLA from the constituency. In the 2021 West Bengal election, Banerjee had contested from the Nandigram Assembly segment and was defeated by her confidant-turned-rival BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
In Jangipur and Samserganj polls were countermanded following the death of two candidates. Polling in Samserganj could not take place on April 26 during the seventh phase of West Bengal Assembly elections due to the death of Congress candidate Rezaul Haque. Similarly, the polling in Jangipur was not held due to the death of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) candidate from Pradip Nandi. TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam are party candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats, respectively. The CPI(M) has fielded Md Modasar Hossain from Samserganj seat and Jane Alam Migya from Jangipur. Milan Ghosh is the BJP candidate from Samserganj while Sujit Das will contest from Jangipur.
On directions of the Election Commission, Kolkata Police imposed restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC in the 200-metre radius of polling stations in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency from Tuesday evening. The restrictions will be imposed till the conclusion of voting for the bypolls this evening at 6 pm. A total of 6,97,164 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three constituencies in West Bengal and the counting of votes will be held on October 3.