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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 30 (ANI): The bypoll in Bhabanipur assembly constituency today is being keenly watched as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is not an MLA is contesting from here.
Besides Bhabanipur, polling will be held in Jangipur and Samserganj Assembly constituencies. The polling will begin at 7 am today. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
Bhabanipur bypoll 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 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.
Bharatiya Janata Party fielded 41-year-old Priyanka Tibrewal against the TMC supremo.
A lawyer by profession, Tibrewal is the vice-president of the West Bengal unit of BJP Yuva Morcha. She is also the petitioner in the Calcutta High Court against the post-poll violence in the state. Notably, the High Court has ordered a CBI probe in violence in West Bengal after the Assembly elections.
On the other hand, CPI(M) has fielded Srijib Biswas, also a lawyer by profession in the Bhabanipur constituency.
More than 20 additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed for the bypolls in Bhabanipur, said the Union Home Ministry sources.
The sources added the seven of these companies are from Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), five each from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 3-4 from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
On directions of the Election Commission, Kolkata Police imposed restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC in the 200-metre radius of polling stations in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency from Tuesday evening. The restrictions will be imposed till the conclusion of voting for the bypolls today evening.
Polling in Samserganj could not take place on April 26 during the seventh phase of West Bengal elections due to the death of Congress candidate Rezaul Haque.
Similarly, the polling in Jangipur was not held due to the death of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) candidate from Pradip Nandi.
TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam are party candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats, respectively. The CPI(M) has fielded Md Modasar Hossain from Samserganj seat and Jane Alam Migya from Jangipur. Milan Ghosh is the BJP candidate from Samserganj while Sujit Das will contest from Jangipur.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats. (ANI)