Pranab's son Abhijit, an MLA from Nalhati, is contesting the bypoll and is pitted against Muzaffar Hussain of the CPI(M) and Sudhangshu Biswas of the BJP. The Trinamool Congress, which is currently ruling the state, did not field any candidate and Mamata Banerjee said it was out of respect for Pranab Mukherjee, who had won the Lok Sabha polls from this seat in 2004 and 2009.
Abhijit Mukherjee, however, has a tough task in hand. In the 2009 election, Pranab had won the seat by a margin of over 1 lakh votes. But given the strong anti-Congress mood prevailing in the country at the moment, it will not be an easy task for Abhijit to repeat his father's feat.
Bypoll was also underway at the Tehri Lok Sabha seat in Uttarakhand on Wednesday. Saket Bahuguna, son of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, was contesting the poll on the ticket of the Congress and his opponent was BJP's Mala Raj Laxmi Shah, a member of the erstwhile Tehri royal family.
The bypoll at Tehri was necessitated after the CM resigned from the seat following his victory from Sitarganj Assembly constituency. A total of 11,85,606 voters would vote in over 2,000 polling stations located in three districts, namely, Dehradun, Tehri and Uttarkashi to decide the fate of 14 candidates in the fray.
(With PTI inputs)