Bypolls underway in West Bengal

The voter turnout at the Bhabanipur constituency stood at 35.97 per cent at 1 pm on Thursday. Bhabanipur bypoll has become a prestige battle for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently not an MLA. The Bhabanipur Assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from Bhabanipur seat as a move to continue to hold her post.

Polling began at 7 am on Thursday for the bypolls to the Bhabanipur seat, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting, and two other constituencies amid tight security and stringent Covid-19 measures. To ensure watertight security and peaceful polling in Bhabanipur on Thursday, the Election Commission on Wednesday decided to bring in 20 more companies of Central Armed Police Personnel. The constituency, which has twice elected Mamata and is considered her home, Bharatiya Janata Party fielded 41-year-old Priyanka Tibrewal against the TMC supremo. On the other hand, CPI(M) has fielded Srijib Biswas, also a lawyer by profession in the Bhabanipur constituency. However, the polling, this time, assumes special significance as the CM is fighting to keep her chair, while the BJP is eyeing an encore of Nandigram where the Trinamool chief contested and lost to Suvendu Adhikari in the Assembly polls held earlier this year. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.