Mamata Banerjee vs Priyanka Tibrewal in Bhabanipur: Bypolls in West Bengal, Odisha today
Bhabanipur bypoll has become a battle of prestige for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who is presently not an MLA. BJP has 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.
Kolkata: Polling for by-election in West Bengal’s Bhabanipur assembly constituency from where chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her BJP rival Priyanka Tibrewal will be held on Thursday amid unprecedented security arrangements put in place by the Election Commission of India.
Besides Bhabanipur, polling for by-elections will also be held in Jangipur and Samserganj Assembly constituencies. The polling will begin at 7 AM today and the counting of votes will take place on October 3.
Bhabanipur bypoll - A prestige battle for Mamata and BJP
Bhabanipur bypoll has become a battle of prestige 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.
BJP has 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.
Tight security for Bhabanipur bypoll
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-meter 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.
By-election in Samserganj, Jangipur
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.
Bypoll in Odisha's Pipili
Besides West Bengal, voting will also take place for by-election in Pipili Assembly constituency in Odisha today. Counting of votes and declaration of results will be done on October 3. The bypoll was necessitated due to the demise of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy on October 4 last year due to Covid-19.
Originally, the bypoll was scheduled on April 17 but had to be rescheduled to May 16 after Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj died due to Covid. However, it was later deferred owing to the second wave of the pandemic.
While BJD has fielded Rudra Pratap Maharathy, the BJP candidate is Ashrit Patnaik. Congress has fielded Biswokehan Harichandan Mohapatra. Seven other candidates including independents are in the fray.