Voting for fiercely contested Bhabanipur bypoll begins

Voting for Bypolls to Bhabanipur, 2 other Bengal seats amid tight security begins

The by-elections will be held in south Kolkata's Bhabanipur, besides Jangipur and Samserganj seats in Murshidabad district

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Credit: PTI Photo

Voting for bye-elections to Bhabanipur seat, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting, and two other constituencies began early on Thursday amid tight security and measures to tackle rain.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the Trinamool Congress candidate in the Bhabanipur by-election in south Kolkata, while the BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, and CPI(M)'s Srijib Biswas is in the fray.

The bye-elections will be held in south Kolkata's Bhabanipur, besides Jangipur and Samserganj seats in Murshidabad district.

Also Read | Heavy security cover for Bhabanipur bypoll, arrangements in place to tackle rain

A total of 72 companies of central forces have been deployed in the three constituencies, of which 35 were sent to Bhabanipur alone. Three personnel will man each of the 287 booths at the 97 polling centres in Bhabanipur, an election official said.

The Election Commission has asked the Irrigation Department to be on alert owing to inclement weather conditions and all polling stations were directed to keep pumps ready to drain out floodwaters.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed within 200 metres of the polling centres.

Kolkata Police, which will be in charge of security outside the booths in Bhabanipur, has already set up pickets across 38 locations in the constituency, a police officer said.

There will be heavy deployment of forces, including quick response teams, in Bhabanipur. Security has also been heightened in Jangipur and Samserganj seats.

Votes polled on Thursday will be counted on October 3. Banerjee will fight BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal, and CPI(M)'s Srijib Biswas in Bhabanipur.

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