75% polling recorded in Sabang bypolls

75% polling recorded in Sabang bypolls

Around 75% polling was recorded in West Bengal's Sabang Assembly constituency by-election, held on Thursday.

The seat fell vacant after sitting Congress MLA Manas Bhuniya defected to the Trinamool Congress and was made a Rajya Sabha MP by the ruling party in the state. Bhuniya's wife Gita Rani is pitted against BJP, Congress and CPM candidates in a high voltage contest as the TMC is trying its best to wrest the seat from the Congress.

The Election Commission said polling has been by and large peaceful and was held amid tight security. Eight companies of central forces were deployed to ensure free and fair polls.

The Opposition CPM and BJP have accused the TMC of forcibly evicting their polling agents from several booths and have alleged violence and rigging of polls. The allegations were, however, denied by Manas Bhuniya.

"Sabang has been always voting for the Congress and the ruling party knows that very well. If the polls were held peacefully, they would have lost the polls and that is the reason they resorted to violence and intimidation," senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan said.

The CPM echoed Mannan's allegations.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh alleged that TMC resorted to terror politics during the bypolls and said the ruling party would have bitten dust if the elections were free and fair.

Charges fly fast

The TMC has denied the allegations.

"The opposition parties could not make any difference during the campaign, so they are making these baseless allegations. People of Sabang are  for the  development agenda of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," said Manas Bhuniya.

Manas had won the Assembly seat during last year's Assembly election on a Congress ticket.

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