Mamata, Abhishek vote, Bhabanipur bypoll peaceful
Kolkata (The Hawk): Amidst a low turnout, the Bhabanipur bypoll was more or less peaceful on Thursday.
The seat is seeing a triangular fight between West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas.
According to the Election Commission the poll percentage was 53.32% till 5pm.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was seen casting her vote at Mitra Institution and soon after Trinamool Congress (TMC) all India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was also seen casting his vote at the same booth.
Ministers Firhad Hakim and Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay also cast their votes.
According to West Bengal transport minister Firhad Hakim the voting percentage in Bhabanipur always hovers around 50%.
“This time, on the contrary, the total turnout has reached almost 60%. The love and affection of people is there with Mamata di and the turnout clearly proves it,” said Firhad.
Notably, in the assembly polls Bhabanipur had witnessed 57.71% voter turnout and TMC’s Sobhandeb Chatterjee had defeated Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rudranil Ghosh by 28,005. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election 53% voters from Bhabanipur had voted. In 2016 assembly polls Bhabanipur constituency saw 47.67% turnout and TMC chief Banerjee won by 25,000 votes against Congress’ Deepa Das Munshi.
However, the BJP claimed that there were several cases of ‘fake voters’ in many of the booths sent in by the TMC.
Marking many people at several booths, candidate Priyanka alleged that the TMC is sending such bogus voters. A clash took place at Khalsa High School after a voter of Bansdroni was identified. Both the BJP and TMC slammed each other after Gurmit Singh, TMC’s Hindi cell secretary rescued the alleged fake voter.
“There are several such voters sent in by the TMC. Since people are wearing masks, everyone cannot be identified. If the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is confident about winning the bypoll then what is the reason for bringing in fake voters? TMC leaders Firhad Hakim and Madan Mitra were also seen blocking booths,” alleged Priyanka.
According to BJP sources, the saffron camp had complained to the Election Commission but the EC said they couldn’t witness such a thing through web casting.
BJP leader Kalyan Chaubey was allegedly attacked by motorbike-borne miscreants and his vehicle vandalized near Booth 160 at St John’s Diocesan School by alleged TMC goons and a helper of Chaubey was engaged in a war of words with TMC’s booth coordinator Asim Bose and police.
The saffron camp also claimed that the TMC did vote rigging at several booths in Bhabanipur and had threatened the BJP’s booth agents.
The TMC also complained against BJP’s Priyanka for moving in a 20-car convoy and disturbing the area.
“The whole day the BJP candidate had staged a drama. They are building grounds to justify their defeat. Had there been any fake voters, the micro observers, the central forces would have taken cognizance. Time to say goodbye to Priyanka,” claimed Firhad.
The leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari took to Twitter and said: “B for Bhabanipur, B for Bansdroni. Party overconfident of victory, engaging in voter fraud. Bansdroni voter in Bhabanipur booth. Scared of defeat, keeping faith in deceit.”
It is pertinent to mention that apart from Bhabanipur assembly, polls were also held at Murshidabad’s Jangipur and Samsergunj and the voting percentage there were 76.12 and 78.60 respectively.