Kolkata, Feb 23: Three assembly seats went to by-polls in West Bengal on Saturday. Speculation was rife whether the results in Rejinagar, English Bazar and Nalhati will surprise the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) or corner the Opposition parties, namely the Left Front and Congress, further. The TMC came to power with a massive mandate in 2011 but relentless allegations of misgovernance and poor economic performance. Will these by-polls indicate a downturn for the ruling party?
Senior CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb told a news channel here on Friday that the people of the state should reveal their anti-incumbency mood through these three by-polls. The polling started at 8 am and would continue till 5 pm. results will be declared on February 28.
Rejinagar: Congress's Humayun Kabir had won the 2011 assembly election in 2011. But he joined the TMC last year and became the animal husbandry minister of the state. The seat (Murshidabad district) fell vacant after Kabir resigned as the MLA. Over 2 lakh voters would cast their votes in the by-poll. Ten candidates are in the fray, including Rabiul Alam Chowdhury of the Congress, Sirajul Islam Mandal of the RSP, Arabinda Biswas of the BJP besides Kabir himself. Thirteen companies of central forces have been deployed for the by-poll.
English Bazar: The seat (Malda district) fell vacant after Krishnendu narayan Chowdhuryy, who had won on Congress ticket in 2011, also joined the TMC last year. He was made the tourism ministry later. English Bazaar by-poll would see 2,19,799 voters casting their ballots. Six candidates are in the fray, including Kaushik Mishra of the RSP, Narendra Nath Tiwari of the Congress, Sanjit Mishra of the BJP besides Chowdhury himself. Eleven companies of central forces have been deployed for this by-poll.
Nalhati: This seat (Birbhum district) fell vacant after Abhijhit Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee, became an MP from Jangipur, the seat which fell vacant after Mukherjee became the President. Biplob Ojha of the TMC, Abdur Rahaman of the Congress, Dipak Chatterjee of the Forward Bloc and Anil Singha of the BJP are among the eight candidates contesting the by-poll from this seat. Twelve companies of central forces have been deployed in this constituency.