Nation

Will Mamata retain her CM chair? Counting of votes to Bhabanipur bypoll on Sunday

New Delhi: The counting of votes to the crucial Bhabanipur by-election in West Bengal will take place on Sunday, October 3. All eyes are going be on the results for this seat as the fate of Mamata Banerjee’s Chief Ministership lies on that seat.

The counting of votes for the polls which were held on September 30 will begin at 8 am tomorrow. There will be 21 rounds of counting in the Bhabanipur constituency. While the Trinamool Congress claims is confident of Mamata’s victory the BJP has claimed to have given a “very good fight in Bhabanipur”.

Bypoll to Bhabanipur was necessitated after TMC’s Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat in May making way for Banerjee to contest from the seat.

In the 2016 assembly polls, Banerjee had retained the Bhabanipur seat but for the West Bengal assembly elections in 2021, she had filed her nomination from Nandigram, but had to face defeat by a margin of 1,956 votes to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari – former TMC leader.

As per the rules of the Constitution of India, she has to become a member of the state assembly within six months of her assuming office as Chief Minister. Now, she has to be elected to the West Bengal assembly by winning this bypoll before November 5 to retain the chair.

Contesting against Mamata Banerjee is Priyanka Tibrewal, a 41-year-old lawyer and vice-president of BJP’s youth wing in West Bengal. While, the Left Front fielded Srijib Biswas to fight against Banerjee and Tibrewal.

Apart from south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur, the by-elections were held for Jangipur and Samserganj seats in Murshidabad district, too. The election to Bhabanipur constituency saw a modest turnout of 53.32 per cent. Samserganj recorded 78.60 per cent voter turnout, while Jangipur 76.12 per cent till 5 pm, as per Election Commission data.

Though, voting was reportedly to be largely peaceful, and no major incident of violence or electoral malpractice was reported, EC officials said.

Bypoll in Odisha’s Pipili
Besides West Bengal, counting of votes for by-election in Pipili Assembly constituency in Odisha will take place on October 3, too. The bypoll was necessitated due to the demise of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy on October 4 last year due to COVID-19.

Originally, the bypoll was scheduled on April 17 but had to be rescheduled to May 16 after Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj died due to COVID. However, it was later deferred owing to the second wave of the pandemic.