Bhabanipur bypolls largely peaceful, 53.32% votes cast

Bhabanipur bypolls largely peaceful, 53.32% votes cast

BJP candidate for Bhabanipur, Priyanka Tibrewal, alleged that the TMC had stopped voting at a polling booth in ward no 72 in the constituency

Citizens show their fingers marked with indelible ink after casting their votes during the by-election to the Bhabanipur assembly constituency. Credit: PTI Photo

Barring a few sporadic clashes, voting in the Assembly bye-election for Bhabanipur constituency — from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting — on Thursday was largely peaceful. According to the Election Commission (EC), 53.52 per cent votes were polled in the Kolkata constituency till 5 pm.

Apart from Bhabanipur, elections were held in the Samserganj and Jangipur Assembly constituencies in Murshidabad district. Samserganj recorded 78.60 per cent polling and Jangipur recorded 76.12 per cent polling till 5 pm. Barring a few allegations of booth capturing, polls were largely peaceful in Samserganj and Jangipur.

BJP candidate for Bhabanipur, Priyanka Tibrewal, alleged that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had stopped voting at a polling booth in ward no 72 in the constituency. The saffron party claimed that ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were trying to influence voters and lodged a complaint against them to the Election Commission (EC).

“How can having a roadside tea stall be considered as an attempt to influence voters? The BJP knows that it will lose in Bhabanipur and that’s why they are making such false allegations,” said Hakim.

Also Read | WB bypolls: Bhabanipur sees lowest polling percentage of 3 constituencies in first 2 hours

In another incident, the vehicle of BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey was vandalised by a group of unidentified persons at Sarat Bose Road in Kolkata. Chaubey said that he and his personal assistant faced an “unprovoked attack” and his vehicle was vandalised by miscreants.

Asked why he was traveling in a vehicle that was not registered with the EC in Bhabanipur and for what purpose, Chaubey said that he was the election agent of the candidate of the Hindustani Awami Morcha in Bhabanipur.

“But I have a separate identity. I am directly involved with the BJP. TMC raises a lot of questions. But how can I be attacked in broad daylight by 12 to 14 persons at Sarat Bose Road? This question has to be asked to the TMC." he added.

The EC sought a report of the incident and after going through CCTV footage of the same, said that it was due to a grazing collision between Chaubey’s vehicle and the motorcycle that the incident took place. The EC ruled out any political connection to it.

However, Chaubey alleged that he and his personal assistant were assaulted. Police sources said that Chaubey’s personal assistant was later arrested.

Earlier in the day, there was a minor scuffle between TMC and BJP workers outside a polling booth in Bhabanipur where the saffron party's cadres alleged that fake voters had entered the booth.

Check out latest DH videos here

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox