West Bengal: Counting begins in three assembly seats

All eyes on Bhabanipur assembly seat

Kolkata: Counting of votes for the Bhabanipur bypoll as well as Jangipur and Samserganj assembly elections in West Bengal began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security, an official said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had lost the assembly elections from Nandigram earlier this year, is up against BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas in Bhabanipur in south Kolkata.

She will have to get elected to the assembly to retain the CM’s chair.

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The Election Commission has made arrangements for a three-tier security at the counting centre set up at Sakhawat Memorial Girls High School in Bhabanipur, where 24 companies of central forces have also been deployed.

Eight CCTV cameras have been fitted at the EVM strong room and the results will be declared after 21 rounds of counting.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed within 200 metre radius of the counting centres at all three constituencies that went to the polls on September 30.

Candidates and their agents, who have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine or have tested negative for the infection, will be allowed to enter the counting venues, the Election Commission official said.

All officials and agents have been asked to abide by COVID-19 protocols, he said.

State minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who won the assembly election from Bhabanipur in south Kolkata, vacated it shortly after results were declared in May, paving the way for the by-election so that Banerjee could fight it.

Polls were countermanded in Jangipur and Samserganj in the Murshidabad district, following the death of one candidate each.

Over 57 per cent polling was registered in Bhabanipur.

A high voting rate at 79.92 per cent and 77.63 per cent was recorded in Samserganj and Jangipur, respectively.

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