Bhabanipur by-poll: Counting of votes on Sunday; will Mamata Banerjee emerge victorious?
New Delhi, 3 October: The counting of votes for the Bhabanipur by-poll in West Bengal will begin at 8 am on Sunday. There will be 21 rounds of counting of votes.
It is an important election for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she has to win in order to continue as the Chief Minister of the state. She is pitted against BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)'s Srijib Biswas.
The voting was held on 30 September and it was largely peaceful. Over 57 polling was registered, as per the Election Commission. The BJP took potshots at the low turnout stating that the TMC had run a campaign projecting the by-poll as a precursor to the 2024 Lok Sabha election to defeat the BJP and her candidature is not accepted by the people from her own constituency.
"What will happen to Mamata Banerjee's ambition to project herself as an alternative to Narendra Modi in the 2024 elections? She had described Bhabanipur as mini-India which will show the country how to fight BJP by turning out in large numbers to vote and elect her by a huge margin," party spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said.
A minor scuffle between supporters of the TMC and BJP was reported outside a booth in Bhabanipur over claims of the ruling party bringing fake voters inside the polling centre. Security forces present at the booth brought the situation under control.
Tibrewal claimed that TMC forcibly stopped the voting process at a polling booth in ward number 72, and that state minister Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were trying to influence the voters in the constituency
The TMC also registered a complaint with the EC, accusing Tibrewal of moving with an entourage of 20 cars and intimidating voters, a charge denied by her.
The BJP later alleged that its polling agents were not allowed entry inside several booths. Hakim said such claims were politically motivated.
Congress demanded a re-poll in nine booths of Samserganj constituency.