Bengal By-elections: Low voter turn out at high profile Bhowanipore constituency. Stray incidents of violence reported in three constituencies that goes to the polls

KOLKATA 30 SEPT: Amidst stray incidents of violence between the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party workers and a low voter turnout at the crucial by-elections of three assembly constituencies, voting at the Bhowanipore, Jangipur, and Samsergunj were held. 

The most crucial among them is the Bhowanipore constituency, where Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who earlier lost from the Nandigram seat, has been pitted against BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal. 

In the morning, a clash broke out between BJP and TMC workers. Then, police rushed to the spot and took control of the situation.

At Bhowanipore, both BJP and TMC leaders clashed and accused each other of booth capturing. In Samserganj, Congress demanded re-voting in nine constituencies as they claimed that voters in those constituencies had been threatened by TMC and BJP leaders, and they were not allowed to cast their votes.

While BJP candidate, Priyanka Tibrewal, said, “Madan Mitra purposefully shut down a voting machine at one of the voting centers in Bhowanipore.” Till 5 pm, the voter turnout was recorded at 78.60 at Samsergunj, 76.12 at Jangipur and 53.32 at Bhowanipore.

According to BJP chief election agent Kalyan Chaubey, two persons forged voting at a poll booth in a school. Even BJP leaders have caught them red-handed and informed the police and central forces. Later, some 8-10 unidentified men on motorbikes attacked Chaubey and his car using sticks and stones.

Trinamool Congress leaders claimed that BJP leaders are alleging false accusations against TMC leaders. If they have received any complaint on booth jamming and rigging they should have complained to Election Commission(ECI).

It may be worth mentioning that the Bhowanipore by-poll has become a prestige battle for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently not an MLA. 

Notably, Mamata Banerjee was defeated by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram constituency in the Assembly elections held earlier this year.

Following this, the Bhowanipore Assembly seat was vacated. West Bengal agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay made way for Mamata Banerjee to contest from the Bhowanipore seat as a move to continue to hold her position.

Interestingly, BJP fielded 41-year-old Priyanka Tibrewal against the TMC supremo. The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government registered a landslide victory in polls, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. Also, the BJP lost the votes but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.

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