KOLKATA: Voting was peaceful in Bhowanipore, Samsherganj and Jangipur on Thursday with the high-profile South Kolkata constituency from where Mamata Banerjee contested recording moderate turnout of 53.32 per cent polling till 5 pm.
In contrast, Samsherganj and Jangipur reported 78.6 and 76.12 per cent polling till 5 pm. Heavy security arrangements were put in place at Bhowanipore with nearly 40 companies of central force personnel manning 287 polling booths. Despite the security apparatus, the BJP claimed its leader Kalyan Choubey was attacked and windshield of his vehicle was smashed. The TMC denied the allegation.
Bhowanipore is Mamata’s stronghold as she was elected twice from the seat. The TMC is confident of winning all three seats. Mamata is contesting against BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas. The bypoll is being keenly watched as Mamata is contesting to enter the Bengal Assembly courtesy a win while the BJP is eyeing a re-run of Nandigram where the CM lost to her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari.
Priyanka continued visiting polling booths throughout the day. “I caught a false voter, who came from another constituency, red handed. TMC’s youth wing leaders sent him to cast vote. This how the ruling party is conducting the by-election to ensure Mamata’s win,” she alleged.
The BJP lodged a complaint with the EC requesting to restrict movement of TMC ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim in the constituency alleging that they were visiting polling booths and influencing electorates. “This is completely baseless allegation. I did not visit a single polling booth. I travelled along the road without stopping anywhere. I am sitting in a party camp in my locality,’’ said Hakim.