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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Polling underway for byelection to four assembly seats in Bengal

Date:

 Polling is underway for the byelection to the four assembly seats in three districts of West Bengal on Wednesday amid tight security.

The contest revolves around the ruling Trinamool Congress and principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as far as recently concluded Lok Sabha election result is concerned.

Of the four Assembly constituencies, three seats – Ranaghat Dakshin in Nadia district, Bagdah in North 24 Parganas district and Raiganj in North Dinajpur district – were won by the BJP and Maniktala in central Kolkata was bagged by the TMC in the 2021 Assembly poll.

However, the three winning BJP legislators of 2021 – Krishna Kalyani from Raiganj, Biswajit Das from Bagdah and Mukut Mani Adhikari from Ranaghat Dakshin –changed the floor switching over to the treasury bench to the ruling party.

The TMC then fielded Kalyani, Adhikari and Das in the Lok Sabha polls from Raiganj, Ranaghat and Bangaon constituencies respectively in 2024, who resigned as MLAs to

contest the polls, but they were defeated by the BJP candidates.

In the bypoll, the TMC again nominated Kalyani and Adhikari from the Raiganj and Ranaghat Dakshin seats. Madhuparna Thakur from the Bagdah constituency

and Supti Pande, the widow of former minister Sadhan Pande, are contesting from Maniktala. Sadhan Pande expired in 2022.

BJP nominated Manoj Kumar Biswas to contest from the Ranaghat Dakshin (SC) seat in Nadia district. Binay Kumar Biswas, is from the Bagda (SC) seat and Manas Kumar Ghosh from Raiganj in the Uttar Dinajpur district. All India Football Federation (AIFF)) president Kalyan Chobey is contesting from Maniktala.

The Left Front is also contesting the bypoll as they drew a blank in the Lok Sabha poll for the second consecutive time after 2019.

The CPI(M) has fielded Arindam Biswas and Rajib Majumder in Ranaghat Dakshin and Maniktala respectively, while the All India Forward Bloc, a constituent of the Left Front, has nominated Gouraditya Biswas from Baghdad. The Congress has fielded senior party leader and former MLA Mohit Sengupta from the Raiganj seat.

The Election Commission of India has made security arrangements for ensuring free and fair election in the four Assembly constituencies as

some 70 companies of Central Forces across 1,097 booths spread across Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala for the by-election have been deployed to ensure smooth polling.

Nearly 10 lakh people are expected to cast their franchise.

According to data from the Commission, Bagda in North 24-Parganas has the highest concentration of forces with 20 companies of Central Forces deployed to manage 301 polling stations. Ranaghat Dakshin in Nadia district has 19 companies for manning 307 polling stations.

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