Bypolls: About 9.94L voters to decide fate of 35 candidates

Bypolls: About 9.94L voters to decide fate of 35 candidates

Kolkata: About 9.94 lakh electors will be deciding the fate of 35 candidates on July 10 when four assembly seats in Bengal are heading for byelections with 1097 polling stations spanning across these four constituencies.

The four seats are — Raiganj in North Dinajpur, Ranaghat South in Nadia , Bagda in North 24-Parganas and Maniklata in Kolkata. Bagda has the highest number of polling stations (221) among the four constituencies.

According to data provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the total number of male and female electors are 508834 and 485721, respectively. The first-time electors in the four constituencies are 19562 while those in the age group of 85 plus, are 6798.

Ranaghat South, with 291781 voters, accounts for the highest number of voters among the four constituencies followed by Bagda with 285442 voters. Maniktala, third in this list, has 210493 voters while Raiganj has 206900 electors.

Even though Raiganj has the least number of voters in the electoral roll, the third-gender voter in this constituency is the highest (37), followed by Bagda (13). The figure is in single digit in Ranaghat South as well as Maniktala which has one overseas voter.

As part of security arrangements, the ECI is deploying 70 companies of Central Forces across 1,097 booths. Bagda will have the highest concentration of forces with 20 companies responsible for managing 301 polling stations. Ranaghat South will have 19 companies for manning 307 polling stations. Another 16 companies will be deployed in Raiganj to manage 212 polling stations while 15 companies will be deployed in Maniktala to manage 277 polling stations.

There will be webcasting in 100 per cent polling booths. During the Lok Sabha elections held recently, the voter turnout was the highest at Ranaghat South (81.54 per cent) followed by Raiganj (77.29). The turnout at Maniktala was 68.55 per cent while that in Bagda 76.06 per cent.

In three of the four assembly seats BJP MLAs – Mukut Mani Adhikari (Ranaghat South), Biswajit Das (Bagda) and Krishna Kalyani (Raiganj)- had defected to Trinamool Congress, leading to the seats falling vacant.

All three contested in the Lok Sabha election on Trinamool’s ticket but lost to BJP. The Maniktala seat was vacant after the death of cabinet minister Sadhan Pande on February 20, 2022.

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