The campaign for the by-election in three constituencies, two Lok Sabha and one Assembly seat ended at 5 pm on Thursday. The by-election will be held on November 19 and results will be out on November 22.
The Central Forces and EVM machines will reach the constituencies on Friday.
The seats fell vacant after two Trinamool candidates, namely the sitting MP Renuka Sinha from Cooch Behar and Salil Panja, the MLA from Manteswar died. The Tamluk Parliamentary seat fell vacant after Suvendu Adhikari, the sitting MP resigned and contested in the 2016 Assembly election from Nandigram. Adhikari is now the state Transport minister.
Adhikari’s younger brother Dibyendu is contesting from Tamluk Lok Sabha seat. Ambuj Mahanty is contesting as a BJP candidate while Partha Batabyal is the Congress nominee. Trinamool Congress left no stone unturned to retain the seat and win it by a huge margin. Suvendu Adhikari is camping in the area along with his father Sisir Adhikari, party’s MP. Party heavyweights Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, Arup Roy, Soumen Adhikari, Tapan Dasgupta led the election campaign. Trinamool Congress lost two seats, Panskura East and Tamluk in the Assembly election in East Midnapore due to infighting and party supremo Mamata Banerjee has asked all her party colleagues to put up united front to regain the seat. The party took out rallies where Soham and Sayantani, two Tollywood actors took part.
In Manteswar Assembly seat, Saikat Panja, son of the deceased Trinamool MLA Sajal Panja is the candidate. He will be facing Biswajit Podder of BJP and Bulbul Ahmed Sheikh of Congress. In Cooch Behar, Partha Pratim Roy of Trinamool will have Partha (Ratim) Aisar, Nripendranath Roy and Hemchamdra Barman as the Congress, Forward Bloc and BJP nominees.
The political experts said the chance of BJP’s taking the second position is slim because of the ordeal the people are facing due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The leaders have criticised the arbitrary and hectic decision of the Centre in all their recent meetings and highlighted the steps taken by Mamata Banerjee to develop the state. “The trouble faced by the people will have its impact in the by election and BJP will not be able to do well in the bordering district of Cooch Behar.”