Bengal bypolls National

Bhabanipur bypoll sees low voter turnout

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Bannerjee walks out of a polling booth in Kolkata on September 30, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Thursday bypoll in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency in West Bengal, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee contested, saw a relatively low voter turnout amidst isolated disturbances, while byelections to two other seats in the State and to the Pipili Assembly seat in Odisha saw a higher turnout.

Till 5 p.m., about 53.32% voters had exercised their franchise in Bhabanipur, compared to 76.12% in Jangipur and 78.60% at Samserganj, where, along with Pipili, elections were adjourned due to the death of candidates during the Assembly polls in April.

There were no major incidents of violence in any of the three Bengal constituencies.

In Pipili, 68.40% voter turnout was recorded till 5 p.m., according to Election Commission of India data. Odisha Chief Electoral Officer S.K. Lohani said there had been no untoward incident and that polling had been peaceful.

Results on October 3

The results of the four elections will be out on October 3. The Bhabanipur bypoll is crucial, as Ms. Banerjee had lost the election from Nandigram in May. She had six months from taking office to get elected to the Assembly in order to retain her post.

Bhabanipur, an urban constituency in south Kolkata, has voters from different communities and religions. Ms. Banerjee, who is also a voter of the constituency, cast her vote at Mitra Institution in the afternoon.

BJP candidate from Bhabanipur Priyanka Tibrewal raised allegations of electoral malpractices at some of the polling booths. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer denied the allegations, saying no irregularities took place. Ms. Tibrewal and other BJP supporters were seen chasing a person who was not a voter of the constituency from a polling booth from the Khalsa High School. The BJP also raised allegations against Ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, claiming that they were moving around polling booths and trying to influence voters. Both denied the allegations, saying they were merely interacting with party supporters at different party offices and did not try to influence voters.

Vehicle ‘attack’

A vehicle of BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey was attacked and damaged at Bhabanipur. According to the police, there was no political connection with the incident and the attack was due to an altercation with a person on a motorbike. A youth was arrested by the police after a local Trinamool Congress leader raised objection about his presence near a polling booth. Later, Mr. Chaubey said the arrested youth was his personal assistant.

About 6.97 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the three Bengal constituencies.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 12:13:25 PM |

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