Voters show their ink-marked fingers during Maniktala assembly bypoll in Kolkata
Voters show their ink-marked fingers during Maniktala assembly bypoll in Kolkata

Bypolls: Vikravandi in TN records highest 82% turnout, violence in Uttarakhand & Bengal

The BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against alleged violent incidents, though the TMC dubbed them “baseless”.

NEW DELHI: Amid sporadic incidents of violence in Uttarakhand and West Bengal, the bypolls to 13 constituencies across seven states recorded moderate to brisk polling on Wednesday.

The bypolls are said to be a litmus test for both the ruling NDA and the Opposition INDIA bloc coming close after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP failed to secure a majority on its own.

In West Bengal, violence was reported in Bagdah and Ranaghat Dakshin assembly segments as the BJP accused TMC activists of assaulting its booth agents and stopping its candidates from visiting some polling stations. BJP candidates Manoj Kumar Biswas and Binay Kumar Biswas claimed they were not allowed to visit some booths.

Manoj Kumar Biswas alleged that BJP camp offices in some areas were ransacked by the TMC. Out of the four seats, election to three seats in West Bengal was necessitated after the BJP MLAs jumped ship to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against alleged violent incidents, though the TMC dubbed them “baseless”.

In Uttarakhand’s Manglaur constituency, four people were injured in a clash between rival parties at a polling booth. Though there were reports of firing at a booth, police denied the reports. Several Congress leaders, including former chief minister Harish Rawat, and Congress MP from Saharanpur Imran Masood condemned the violence. While Manglaur recorded 67.28% till 5 pm, Badrinath reported 47.68% polling.

In the high stake contest in Himachal Pradesh, the Nalagarh assembly constituency recorded the highest polling percentage of 75.22 till 5 pm, followed by Hamirpur at 65.78 and Dehra at 63.89. In Dehra, Congress’ Kamlesh Thakur, wife of Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is pitted against the BJP’s Hoshiyar Singh. The three seats fell vacant after as many independent MLAs switched over to the BJP.

The Vikravandi assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu recorded the highest voter turnout of 82.48%, according to the Election Commission. In the triangular contest in Vikravandi, the ruling DMK is pitted against PMK and NTK. In Punjab, the bypoll to the Jalandhar West assembly segment saw a voter turnout of 51.30%. In Bihar, a voter turnout of 51.14% was recorded till 5 pm in the bypoll to Rupauli Assembly seat.

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The New Indian Express
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