The bypolls are underway in Odisha and West Bengal, in Bengal with extra security at sensitive booths, starts at 7 am and ends by 6 pm.
The spotlight is on West Bengal’s Bhabanipur seat as Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee fights to win the seat to retain the chief minister’s post.
Mamata Banerjee, who had lost from the Nandigram constituency in the assembly elections earlier this year, is pitted against BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas in Bhabanipur.
Meanwhile, polls had to be countermanded in Jangipur and Samserganj in April following the death of two candidates.
Of note, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have also been imposed within 200 metres of the polling centres.
A total 6,97,164 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three Bengal constituencies.
In Odisha, around 2.30 lakh voters will decide the destiny of 10 candidates, including the ruling BJD’s Rudrapratap Maharathy, Ashrit Pattnaik of the BJP and Congress nominee Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra, news agency PTI reported.
As in Bengal, the by-election in Odisha’s Pipili assembly constituency is also being held amid heavy security. The administration has deployed close to 2,000 security personnel to ensure peaceful voting in Pipili, which has a history of poll violence.
The by-election to the Pipili seat was necessitated following the death of BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October last year. It was first scheduled to be held on April 17, but it was countermanded after Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj died of COVID-19 on April 14.
It was then scheduled for May 13 but got deferred due to a festival. The by-election was subsequently rescheduled for May 16. However, once again, it was postponed in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.
The polling in West Bengal and Odisha will continue till 6 pm and the results will be declared on October 3.