Campaigning comes to an end in Bhabanipur
September 27, 2021  21:33
Campaigning for Thursday's high-voltage bypoll to the Bhabanipur assembly seat in south Kolkata where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting as the Trinamool Congress candidate, and elections to two other constituencies in Murshidabad district ended on Monday.

Scuffles between supporters of the TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party and allegations of threats to saffron party leaders marked the last day of the campaign in Bhabanipur, while canvassing for the Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies passed off peacefully.

Bypoll to Bhabanipur was necessitated following the resignation of Trinamool Congress MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay so that the party supremo can contest from the seat which Banerjee won in 2011 and 2016 elections.

In the assembly election held earlier this year, Banerjee, a resident of the Bhabanipur constituency, contested from Nandigram, where the anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the state, to dare her former protege turned adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in his home turf.

Though she powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost to Adhikari by a narrow margin, and challenged the result in the Calcutta high court. The case is pending.

Banerjee now must win the bypoll to ensure an unbroken stint as the chief minister.

According to the constitutional provision, a person has to get elected to the legislature within six months of taking oath of office as a chief minister or a minister. She took oath as the CM on May 5.

Besides Banerjee, the BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal and the Communist Party of India-Marxist's Srijib Biswas are contesting from Bhabanipur.

The Congress has decided not to field a candidate there.

Elections to Samserganj and Jangipur were countermanded earlier due to deaths of candidates.

While Rezaul Haque, the Congress candidate from Samserganj, died on April 15, the Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate from Jangipur Pradip Nandi, passed away a day later.

In Samserganj, the candidates for the September 30 election are Amirul Islam (TMC), Zaidur Rahman (Congress), Milan Ghosh (BJP). The candidates for Jangipur are Jakir Hossain (TMC), Sujit Das (BJP) and Alam Mian (RSP).

Votes of the three constituencies will be counted on October 3.

Altogether 52 companies of central forces were deployed for the polls in the three assembly seats, an official at the CEO in Kolkata said.

Of them, 19 companies have been deployed in Bhabanipur.

The central forces were personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the official said.   -- PTI

IMAGE: A man looks at the hoarding of BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal for upcoming bypolls, at Bhabanipur. Photograph: ANI Photo
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