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Around 51 pc polling recorded till 3 PM in Bengal byelection

Around 51 pc polling recorded till 3 PM in Bengal byelection

Kolkata, July 10 (UNI) An estimated 50.43 per cent of one million electorate exercised their franchise till 3 PM in the byelection to four assembly seats in three districts of Bengal on Wednesday.
While Raiganj accounted for 53.89 per cent polling, Ranaghat South (SC) for 52.41 per cent, Bagda (SC) for 50.81 per cent and Maniktala for 43.78 per cent.
The contest revolved around the ruling Trinamool Congress and principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as far as recently concluded Lok Sabha election result is concerned.
Meanwhile, police arrested 26 miscreants for allegedly attacking BJP polling agent Ranjan Mondal in Ranaghat south in Nadia district where bypoll to the Assembly seat was in progress.
Mondal alleged that the miscreants attacked his house at Pairadanga around 0130 hrs and broke the windows and also threatened him of dire consequences if he went to the polling booth.
The miscreants even fired two rounds to scare him.
A possession of police with central forces visited the area to ensure no such recurrence.
Mondal, however, refused to go to the polling booth and declared that he would not cast vote along with his wife.
Union Minister and BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said, "The voting percentage is very low as TMC goons are standing at the intersections everywhere and threatening people."
Of the four Assembly constituencies, three seats – Ranaghat Dakshin in Nadia district, Bagdah in North 24 Parganas district and Raiganj in North Dinajpur district - were won by the BJP and Maniktala in central Kolkata was bagged by the TMC in the 2021 Assembly poll.
However, the three winning BJP legislators of 2021 - Krishna Kalyani from Raiganj, Biswajit Das from Bagdah and Mukut Mani Adhikari from Ranaghat Dakshin – changed the floor switching over to the treasury bench to the ruling party.
The TMC then fielded Kalyani, Adhikari and Das in the Lok Sabha polls from Raiganj, Ranaghat and Bangaon constituencies respectively in 2024, who resigned as MLAs to contest the polls, but they were defeated by the BJP candidates.
In the bypoll, the TMC again nominated Kalyani and Adhikari from the Raiganj and Ranaghat Dakshin seats. Madhuparna Thakur from the Bagdah constituency and Supti Pande, the widow of former minister Sadhan Pande, are contesting from Maniktala. Sadhan Pande expired in 2022.
BJP nominated Manoj Kumar Biswas to contest from the Ranaghat Dakshin (SC) seat in Nadia district. Binay Kumar Biswas, is from the Bagda (SC) seat and Manas Kumar Ghosh from Raiganj in the Uttar Dinajpur district. All India Football Federation (AIFF)) president Kalyan Chobey is contesting from Maniktala.
The Left Front is also contesting the bypoll as they drew a blank in the Lok Sabha poll for the second consecutive time after 2019.
The CPI(M) has fielded Arindam Biswas and Rajib Majumder in Ranaghat Dakshin and Maniktala respectively, while the All India Forward Bloc, a constituent of the Left Front, has nominated Gouraditya Biswas from Baghdad. The Congress has fielded senior party leader and former MLA Mohit Sengupta from the Raiganj seat.
The Election Commission of India has made security arrangements for ensuring free and fair election in the four Assembly constituencies as some 70 companies of Central Forces across 1,097 booths spread across Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala for the by-election have been deployed to ensure smooth polling.
According to data from the Commission, Bagda in North 24-Parganas has the highest concentration of forces with 20 companies of Central Forces deployed to manage 301 polling stations. Ranaghat Dakshin in Nadia district has 19 companies for manning 307 polling stations.
UNI PC-SJC KK

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