Polling begins for West Bengal by-elections

The state's principal political parties -- the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Congress, the Left Front and the BJP -- are in fray for all three seats.

By: IANS | Kolkata | Published: November 19, 2016 7:15 am
west bengal, bengal by-polls, bengal by-elections, cooch behar elections, west bengal elections, BJP, TMC, trinamool congress Photo for representational purpose

Polling began amidst enthusiasm for by-elections to two Lok Sabha and one assembly seats in West Bengal at 7 am on Saturday. An electorate of nearly 3,524,977, including 1,689,735 females and 38 from the third gender are eligible to choose their representatives from among 23 candidates vying for honours in Cooch Behar (Reserved-Scheduled Castes) and Tamluk parliamentary constituencies and Monteshwar assembly seat.

Cooch Behar has the maximum number of contestants (10), followed by Tamluk (7) and Monteshwar (6), whose fate would be decided in over 500 Electronic Voting machines spread across 4,121 polling stations.

The state’s principal political parties — the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Congress, the Left Front and the BJP — are in fray for all three seats.

The elections are being held under the shadow of the central government’s demonetisation move to unearth black money and counterfeit coins, that has caused turmoil across the nation.

Since the November 8 announcement banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people have been forced to stand in long queues at banks and ATMs for the elusive cash. Trade and business have also been hit.

The Cooch Behar parliamentary constituency fell vacant after the death of Trinamool’s Renuka Sinha, while Tamluk has gone to the hustings as the incumbent MP Suvendu Adhikari became a minister in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Cabinet.

Trinamool lawmaker Sajal Panja’s death has caused the Monteshwar assembly by-poll. The vote count is on Tuesday.

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  1. A
    Amit Mukhopadhyay
    Nov 22, 2016 at 6:12 am
    Where is CPM? Does the party exist today in West Bengal? Nearly finished. Already Congress is the largest opposition party in West Bengal embly with 44 seats. CPM only has 26. Sometimes I can't believe this. I grew up in an era when in our school CPM cadres would barge into clrooms and give us a lesson about how bad emergency is and how to unite and liberate the poor. And today they are reduced to 26 seats. But extinction of the opposition is not good for democracy. There has to be an opposition, however weak that may be. I think CPM and Congress should merge to form a new party. Why to have so many shops in one market?
    1. R
      rajan luthra
      Nov 19, 2016 at 2:16 am
      The snap with the caption shows application of indelible ink on right hand. Is it a photograph taken in a bank note exchange or in a polling station? If latter, the right hand is the wrong hand for the purpose. Any confusion?