Bypolls: Overall polling percentage stood at 62.71%

Bypolls: Overall polling percentage stood at 62.71%

Kolkata: Aside from a few isolated attempts to disrupt the polling process, which were promptly handled by the Central Forces and the police, the by-elections in four Assembly constituencies in the state concluded peacefully.

Voting percentage in these constituencies till 5 pm was significantly lower in comparison to the Lok Sabha polls held recently with Maniktala witnessing only 51.39 per cent polling.

The overall poll percentage was 62.71 per cent with Raiganj in North Dinajpur having 67.12, Ranghat Dakshin in Nadia having 65.37 and Bagda in North 24-Parganas having 65.15 per cent voting.

During the Lok Sabha elections, the voter turnout was the highest at Ranaghat Dakshin with 81.54 per cent, followed by Raiganj with 77.29 per cent. The turnout at Maniktala was 68.55 per cent while that in Bagdah was 76.06 per cent.

The police effected some specific arrests in Ranaghat Dakshin with 26 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday for attempts to disturb the polls while in Bagda, 3 persons were arrested in connection with an incident of stone pelting while BJP candidate Binoy Biswas was visiting a booth.

The rear view glass of his vehicle was broken as agitators shouted ‘Go Back’ slogans. The police had to intervene to bring situations under control.

BJP candidate from Maniktala, Kalyan Choubey also faced ‘Go Back’ slogans from Trinamool Congress supporters at several areas under the Maniktala constituency while he patrolled the area. Choubey alleged that TMC had brought in outsiders and had assembled near polling booths trying to influence voters.

The Maniktala Constituency was witness to a rare precedence of political courtesy with TMC councillor of ward 14 Anidya Kishore Routh helping out BJP candidate Kalyan Choubey’s mother septuagenarian Sandhya Choubey to locate the polling booth where she was supposed to vote.

The elderly lady forgot to carry the voter slip along with her and was in a dilemma in which booth would she go for casting her franchise. When the matter came before Routh’s notice, who incidentally was the polling agent of Trinamool Congress candidate Supti Pande, he helped her locate the polling booth in which she would vote. Sandhya expressed her gratitude to Routh after casting her franchise.

“It is my duty to help voters so that they can go to their respective polling booths and vote irrespective of political affiliation. I have done my duty in helping her out so that she can cast her franchise,” said Routh. Maniktala has been without an MLA since the death of incumbent Sadhan Pande in February 2022. There was litigation in the court associated with Maniktala and so the by-election was delayed for more than two years.

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