By-polls conclude in West Bengal, Odisha; counting on Oct 3
53 percent turn out (till 5 P.M) in Bhawanipur where Mamata Banerjee is defending her Chief Minsitership, polling also held in Jangipur and Samserganj, and Odisha's Pipili
By-polls were held in three constituencies in West Bengal on Thursday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stood for elections from Bhawanipur, after Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat for her.
Banerjee had earlier contested from Nandigram and lost by a slim margin (in a highly controversial and hotly debated result) to her bete noir Suvendu Adhikari of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, she led the Trinamool Congress to a landslide victory overall and was appointed Chief Minister, and had to win an election within six months to keep her position. Bhawanipur in South Kolkata is her home bastion and Banerjee was pitted against Priyanka Tibrewal of the BJP and Srijib Biswas of the CPI (M) this time.
The election was not devoid of drama. Over 20 additional companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) were deputed on the day of polling to ensure no violence breaks out. Tibrewal filed a complaint claiming fake voters were casting votes in the constituency at booth number 72 reported news agencies.
By 5 P.M, over 53 percent of the registered voters had cast their votes in Bhawanipur. There are over 2 lakh voters here, hailing from different faiths, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.
By-polls were also necessitated in Jangipur and Samserganj, after the death of candidates due to Covid-19, even as the mammoth eight phase assembly elections were underway in the state earlier this year. Rescheduling was necessitated in Jangipur (Murshidabad) after RSP's candidate Pradip Nandy succumbed to the decease and in Samserganj in wake of the death of Rezaul Haque, the Congress candidate from the constituency due to Covid-19 on April 15.
At 5 P.M Jangipur recorded a voter turnout of over 76 percent, while in Samserganj the turnout stood at over 78 percent.
Meanwhile, polling was also held in Pipili in Odisha today. By-elections were necessitated after sitting BJP MLA Pradeep Maharathy passed away due to Covid in October last year. Though the by-poll was initially scheduled for April this year, it had to be rescheduled again after Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj died three days before the scheduled polling date. Maharathy's son Rudra Prasad is contesting from his father's seat and is pitted against BH Mohapatra of the Congress.
Counting for all four constituencies will be held on October 3.