Ballia (UP), Bikramganj (Bihar), Balagarh (W Bengal), Dec 29: Counting of votes for the three Lok Sabha seats - Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, Bikramganj in Bihar and Balagarh in West Bengal have begun this morning, amidst tight security.
The poll that witnessed an 80 per cent turnout in Balagarh on December 29, are expected to decide the fate of candidates from the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the BJP. All parties have fielded separate candidates who are directly locked in a fight against the ruling CPI (M) nominee Bhuban Pramanik, a leader of a fishermen organisation. The Trinamool, the Congress and the BJP have fielded Asim Kumar Majhi, Biswanath Malik and Bansi Rauth, respectively. The CPI (ML) Liberation is also in the fray.
The by-polling was necessitated following the death of CPI (M) MLA Dibakanta Rout. The other two by-elections in Ballia and Bikramganj were also held on December 29. Over 40 per cent electorate cast their votes in the Ballia Lok Sabha by-poll. The seat fell vacant after the demise of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar.
The results are expected to decide the fate of 16 candidates. While Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded late Chandrashekhar"s son Neeraj Shekhar, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Vinay Shankar Tiwari, son of former state minister Hari Shankar Tiwari. The BJP and the Congress have given tickets to Virendra Singh Mast and Rajiv Upadhyay, respectively.
About 32 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in the by-poll for the Bikramganj Lok Sabha seat. Railway Minister and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has fielded a Kushwaha candidate and is banking on the winning combination of Kushwahas and Yadavs.
The by-polling was necessitated following the death of JD (U) MP Ajit Singh.