New Delhi: The results of the bypolls to three West Bengal Assembly constituencies — Karimganj, Kharagpur Sardar and Kaliaganj — were announced on Thursday. The bypolls are seen as a litmus test for the Mamata government ahead of 2021 Assembly Elections. The counting began at 8 am.
Karimganj belongs to the Trinamool while Kharagpur and Kaliaganj belong to the BJP and the Congress respectively. The bypolls were necessitated after the Kaliaganj seat fell vacant as sitting MLA Parmatha Nath Ray died earlier this year. The other two seats went to polls as their MLAs —Trinamool’s Mohua Moitra and BJP’s Dilip Ghosh — were elected as members of Parliament.
There were reports of violence, but the voter turnout was not affected. Around 75.34 per cent of over 7 lakh electorate on cast votes on November 25. BJP alleged that its Karimpur candidate Jay Prakash Majumdar was attacked.
TV footages showed Majumdar, who is also the state BJP vice-president, being beaten up, kicked and pushed into a bush by miscreants at Phipulkhola area of Nadia district.
The EC official said a report on the incident has been sent to Chief Election Commissioner’s office in New Delhi.
Several TMC supporters raised “go back” slogans at another booth the BJP leader visited during the day. The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob. Holding TMC “goons” responsible for the act, Majumdar said, “Wounds would heal but the incident was a clear sign of the end of democracy” in West Bengal.
Majumdar alleged that the TMC had planted fake voters in the area to rig the polls.
The TMC, however, termed the allegations as baseless and said it has to be ascertained whether or not the assault on the candidate was real.
“The BJP very well knows that it is going to lose the polls. So they have staged a drama to gain sympathy. Those who don’t have any connection with the people resort to falsehood and drama. The BJP is doing just that in West Bengal,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
(With PTI Inputs)