Voting for the Bhabanipur by-election is all set to begin shortly today (Thursday). Bypolls will be held in three seats in West Bengal – south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangirpur in Murshidabad district – and Pipili in Odisha. The polling will begin at 7 am and continue till 6 pm. The most high-profile battle of these is in Bhabanipur from where West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is contesting as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate. BJP fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas are also in the fray. The results of the bypolls will be declared on 3 October.
Banerjee lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram in the March-April Assembly polls, EC results have shown. She has however, moved the court challenging the result. Later, 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. The feisty TMC boss took oath as chief minister for the third consecutive term in West Bengal on May 5.
Stringent security arrangements are in place in West Bengal’s Bhabanipur ahead of the assembly by-election. As many as 15 companies of central forces have been deployed. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been imposed within 200 metres of the polling centres. Inside each of the 287 booths at 97 polling centres in Bhabanipur, half-a-section — three jawans — of the central forces will be deployed.Kolkata Police officers will be in charge of the security outside the booths.
Bypolls in Bhabanipur, Samserganj, Jangipur, Pipili | LIVE Updates