Kolkata bypoll: 84 per cent votes cast in the by-poll of Sabang assembly

Kolkata: Around 84 per cent votes were cast till the end of scheduled time in the by-poll to the Sabang assembly constituency in West Bengal on Thursday under tight security, amid reports of sporadic clashes.

“Till 5 p.m., the end of scheduled time, the polling percentage was 84,” an Election Commission official told IANS over phone.  Poling had started at 7 a.m.  However, the final poll percentage was likely to go up as lot of people were in queues at the polling booths at 5 p.m., the official said.

The BJP has accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of not letting their polling agents in certain polling booths. However, Trinamool denied the allegation and charged the BJP with making false claims to hide their organisational weakness in the area.  Eight companies of central forces were deployed for an electorate of 245,259, eligible to vote in 306 polling booths to choose their representative from five candidates in fray. Around 40 booths were identified as sensitive.

More than 100 CCTV cameras were also installed outside the booths for surveillance.  The by-polls were necessitated by the sitting Congress legislator Manas Bhunia’s resignation after he crossed over to the Trinamool. He is now a Rajya Sabha member of his new party.

For the by-polls, Trinamool has nominated Bhunia’s wife Gita Rani Bhunia, the Congress has opted for a local leader Chiranjib Bhowmick, Rita Mondal is the Left Front nominated Communist Party of India-Marxist aspirant, while the BJP candidate is Antara Bhattacharyya. There is also an SUCI(C) contestant.  The votes will be counted on December 24.

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