Kolkata | Jagran Politics Desk: The voting for the high-voltage Bhabanipur bypoll in which Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will compete against Bharatiya Janata Party's Priyanka Tibrewal began on at 7 am on Thursday. The Bhabanipur bypoll is a must-win for Mamata Banerjee to remain the Chief Minister of West Bengal as her six-month deadline to become a member of the state Assembly comes to end.
Besides Bhabanipur, polling for by-elections would also be held in Jangipur and Samserganj seats in West Bengal's Murshidabad district. The election commission (EC) has said that 6.97 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three constituencies, adding that the counting of votes will take place on October 3. It has also deployed 72 companies of central forces in the three constituencies, of which 35 are stationed in Bhabanipur alone.
Here are the LIVE Updates from the big story:
16:50 pm: West Bengal: A scuffle broke out between BJP and TMC supporters in Bhabanipur assembly constituency, where voting for the by-poll is underway today. BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey's car was allegedly vandalised.
16:00 hours: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and TMC candidate for Bhabanipur bypoll leaves from Mitra Institution - a polling booth in the assembly constituency.
15:45 hours: Voter turnout of 72.45 per cent, 68.17 per cent and 48.08 per cent recorded till 3 pm in Samserganj, Jangipur polls and Bhabanipur bypoll respectively.
14:46 hours: Priyanka Tibrewal alleges that TMC is paying some people to cast a vote.
"A man confessed to me that TMC paid him Rs 500 to cast vote. He was from Bansdroni. I have informed the authorities," she says.
13:57 hours: Recap: 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.
13:45 hours: Voter turnout of 57.15 per cent, 53.78 per cent and 35.97 per cent were recorded till 1 pm in Samserganj, Jangipur polls and Bhabanipur bypoll respectively.
13:20 hours: Recap: Following this, the Bhabanipur Assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for Mamata Banerjee to contest from Bhabanipur seat as a move to continue to hold her post.
13:10 hours: Recap: Bhabanipur by-poll has become a prestige battle for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is presently not an MLA. Mamata was defeated by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram constituency in the Assembly elections held earlier this year.
13:00 hours: Recap: By-polls are being conducted today in three assembly constituencies in West Bengal - Bhabanipur, Samserganj, and Jangipur.
12:53 hours: Does having tea at a roadside stall tantamount to influencing voters? The BJP knows it will lose the by-poll and are now making lame excuses, says TMC's Firhad Hakim.
12:50 hours: Voter turnout of 40.23 per cent, 36.11 per cent and 21.73 per cent were recorded till 11 am in Samserganj, Jangipur polls and Bhabanipur bypoll respectively.
12:30 hours: Also Read -- Jagran Explainer | Why Bhabanipur by-poll is a must win for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee?
11:34 hours: By 11 am, a voter turnout of 21.73 per cent has been recorded at Bhabanipur.
10:50 hours: Meanwhile, the EC has asked people to contact it at 1950 toll-free number if they are unable to go to their respective polling stations.
If some area is waterlogged, the Commission will make arrangements to pick people from their homes. In addition to this, adequate security arrangements will be made so that people can exercise their franchise freely, an EC official said, as reported by News18.
10:30 hours: In Samserganj, a voter turnout of 16.32 per cent was recorded till 9 am while it was 17.51 per cent in Jangipur.
10:14 hours: According to the election commission, 7.5 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in Bhabanipur till 9 am.
9:27 hours: Meanwhile, West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim has dismissed Priyanka Tibrewal's claims of booth capturing by TMC.
9:26 hours: Polling underway in Murshidabad for Jangipur constituency in compliance with COVID norms.
9:07 hours: 90-year-old Manobashini Chakrabarty casts her vote at Mitra Institution polling booth in Bhabanipur.
8:55 hours: It said that 35 central forces companies have been deployed only in Bhabanipur.
8:45 hours: The poll body has also said that it has deployed 72 companies of central forces in the three constituencies.
8:30 hours: The election commission (EC) has said that 6.97 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three constituencies -- Bhabanipur, Jangipur and Samserganj.
8:17 hours: Also Read -- Bhabanipur By-Poll: Who is Priyanka Tibrewal, BJP's trump card against Mamata Banerjee?
7:48 hours: Madan Mitra (TMC MLA) has purposely shut the voting machine here as he wants to capture the booth, says BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal at polling booth of ward number 72.
7:36 hours: Visuals from a polling booth in Bhabanipur.
7:30 hours: In Bhabanipur, Mamta Banerjee is up against BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal.
7:20 hours: The Bhabanipur bypoll is a must-win for Mamata Banerjee to remain the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
7:15 hours: Security deployment at a polling booth of ward number 71 in Bhabanipur.
7:10 hours: We're hoping for fair elections. Security deployment is very important. I will visit polling booths in the area today. The state government is in fear right now, says BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal.
7:05 hours: The polling will continue till 6 pm.
7:00 hours: The voting for the Bhabanipur by-elections has started.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma