Over 80% turnout in bypoll to 2 West Bengal seats

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Kolkata, Feb 13: A voter turnout of 79.80 and 81.80 per cent respectively was recorded on Friday in the by-elections to Bongaon Lok Sabha seat and Krishnaganj Assembly seat in West Bengal.

"Almost 79.80 per cent polling has been recorded in Bongaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat in North 24 Parganas district and 81.80 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Krishnaganj (SC) Assembly seat of Nadia district in the by-elections today," state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta told PTI.

By-polls begin in WEst Bengal

"Polling was peaceful and there was no major untoward incident during the polling process," Gupta said.

Adequate central forces and state police personnel were deployed, besides surveillance by webcam, video camera and mobile security under direct supervision of the observers.

There is an electorate of 15,65,447 in the Bongaon LS seat and an electorate of 2,44,988 in the Krishnaganj (SC) Assembly seat, the sources said. Eleven candidates, including two women, are contesting the Bongaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat, with the fight mainly confined to the Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), BJP and Congress candidates.

In the Krishnaganj (SC) Assembly seat, five candidates are in fray. The fight here is also mainly confined between TMC, CPI(M), BJP and Congress candidates.

Gupta said that elaborate arrangement was made for free, fair and peaceful polling in the by-elections to both these seats. There is an electorate of 15,65,447 in the Bongaon LS seat and an electorate of 2,44,988 in the Krishnaganj (SC) Assembly seat, the CEO said.

Responding to an allegation that the CPI-M polling agent was not allowed to sit in a booth at Gayeshpur in Nadia district, he said, "Everything was normal there".

The Bongaon LS seat fell vacant after the death of Trinamool Congress member Kapil Krishna Thakur on October 13 last year. His wife Mamatabala Thakur has been nominated by TMC to contest the by-election. The BJP has fielded Subrata Thakur for the Bongaon LS seat.

Subrata is the son of Manjul Krishna Thakur who quit as a minister in Trinamool Congress government and joined the BJP last month. Former minister Debesh Das is the CPI(M) nominee while Congress has fielded Kuntal Mondal as its candidate for the seat.

By-polls are seen as a crucial test of popularity for the ruling TMC

In the Krishnaganj seat, the election was being held due to the death of the sitting TMC MLA Sushil Biswas on October 21 last year.

TMC has fielded local party leader Satyajit Biswas for the seat, while the CPI(M) has nominated a physician Apurba Biswas.

Besides, the BJP has fielded professor Manabendra Roy and Congress has fielded a local party activist Nityagopal Mondal for the seat.

PTI

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