Bhabanipur Assembly Election 2021 Voting LIVE Updates: EC rejects BJP's poll-rigging claim in high-profile seat

09:21 (IST) Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update All booth under watch via webcams, mobile inspection units As part of its elab...

09:21 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

All booth under watch via webcams, mobile inspection units

As part of its elaborate security arrangements, the Election Commission has deployed 72 companies of central forces in the three constituencies, of which 35 are stationed in Bhabanipur alone, the officials said. An EC official also told News18 that CCTV camers were installed at all booths.

08:58 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

EC rejects BJP's poll-rigging claim in high-profile seat

The Election Commission said polling was delayed in one of the booths in Bhabanipur due to the mock poll drive exercise and not rigging of the booth as alleged by the BJP. The BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal against Banerjee and has been raising allegations of a missing level-playing field in the keenly watched constituency. “No rigging took place,” the EC said

Tibrewal had earlier asserted that TMC's Madan Mitra had shut down an EVM on purpose. 

08:47 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

EC says officials serious about implementing COVID-19 norms

Election Commission officials in Bhabanipur tols News18, We are keeping a very close watch inside the booths through web cameras to ensure that Covid 'protocols are followed by voters, polling agents and polling personnel. We have 20 teams to monitor all booths continuously."

08:16 (IST)

Pipili assembly by-election latest update

Polling begins in Odisha's Pipili

08:11 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Priyanka Tibrewal accuses TMC MLA of tampering with EVM

BJP candidate from Bhabanipur Priyanka Tibrewal accused TMC's Madan Mitra of tampering with an EVM at the polling booth where Mamata Banerjee is set to vote. 

"Madan Mitra (TMC MLA) has purposely shut the voting machine here as he wants to capture the booth," she told ANI

07:56 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Bhabanipur stands at the cusp of history, says BJP's Amit Malviya

07:35 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Flood, COVID and security, EC officials struggle to prepare for worst in high profile election battle

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the only odd that authorities have to beat to conduct polls in Bhabanipur today. Adverse weather and the possibility of disruptions and violence in the bitterly contested seat are all possibilities that the Election Commission has made efforts to prepare for. 

Up to 35 companies of Central paramilitary forces have been deployed, with three personnel to be present at each of the 270-odd booths all of which have been declared sensitive. Mitra Institution, a state high school where Mamata Banerjee casts her vote, is among the 13 booths declared "very sensitive" in the constituency. 

Meanwhile, several places in the Bhabanipur constituency were under water on Wednesday following the overnight rains, officials said.. 

Election officials said all arrangements have been made in case the rains continue. All polling centres were asked to arrange pumps to drain floodwaters, while police personnel deployed for the election were told to carry raincoats and umbrellas, they said.

07:18 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Polling begins in Bhabanipur, to continue till 6.30 pm

07:16 (IST)

Breaking News: Voting Begins in three seats of West Bengal and Odisha's Pipili

07:15 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Meet Opposition Candidates in Bhabanipur

Mamata Banerjee is a political stalwart who needs no introduction. No two days pass without her name making front-page headlines in the national media. But who are the people chosen by their respective parties to stand up against the All India Trinamool Congress Chief, who has maintained a steady grip on West Bengal for 10 years now. 

  • Priyanka Tibrewal: The BJP has put up 41-year-old Priyanka Tibrewal as a candidate against its arch-rival. Although she lost the recent Assembly polls and also the 2015 municipal polls, the Calcutta High Court lawyer has turned high profile, being one of the petitioners in the post-poll violence case against the state government.
  • Srijeeb Biswas: The CPM, on the other hand, has fielded Srijeeb Biswas. Biswas too is a lawyer in Alipur court. He is also a pass out from Hazra Law College. From 2014 he has been practising law and generally handles cases of the Left parties. 

The Congress, which had contested the 2021 assembly polls in an alliance with the Left, has decided not to field a candidate against Banerjee, whose equation with the grand old party has shown signs of improvement of late in the runup to the 2024 General Elections.

07:08 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Hoping for fair elections, says BJP Candidate Priyanka Tibrewal

Priyanka Tibrewal, the 41-year-old who is BJP's candidate against Mamata Banerjee said, "We're hoping for fair elections. Security deployment is very important. I will visit polling booths in the area today. The state government is in fear right now."

06:33 (IST)

Bhabanipur assembly by-election latest update

Day of reckoning for Mamata Banerjee

Over three lakh voters of Bhabanipur, a south Kolkata legislative constituency, will today seal the fate of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who is looking to enter the state Assembly before the end of her six-month period, generally allowed to a chief ministerial candidate before they can get elected to Assembly. 

The Chief Minister has had to contest because, despite her own party's tremendous victory in the Assembly polls held this April-May, she could not win from Nandigram. 

Bhabanipur Assembly Election 2021 Voting LATEST Updates: The Election Commission said polling was delayed in one of the booths in Bhabanipur due to the mock poll drive exercise and not rigging of the booth as alleged by the BJP.

BJP candidate from Bhabanipur Priyanka Tibrewal accused TMC's Madan Mitra of tampering with an EVM at the polling booth where Mamata Banerjee is set to vote.

Stringent security arrangements were in place in Bhabanipur as the future of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, who needs to win the election to retain her seat as West Bengal chief minister, will be decided in the bypolls on Thursday, 30 September.

Banerjee will be battling it out against BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal and CPM's Srijib Biswas, with Congress not fielding any candidate for the bypolls. The results will be declared on 3 October.

Besides Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies are also going to bypolls on Thursday.

Security beefed up

At least 20 additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed in the constituency, a senior police official said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were also imposed within 200 m of the polling centres where voting will take place on Thursday, he said.

Banerjee is the Trinamool Congress candidate in the Bhabanipur by-election in south Kolkata, while the BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, and CPM's Srijib Biswas is in the fray.

Inside each of the 287 booths at 97 polling centres in Bhabanipur, half-a-section - three jawans - of the central forces will be deployed. Kolkata Police officers will be in charge of the security outside the booths.

"Assembly of five or more persons within the periphery of 200 m of any polling premises will not be allowed. A ban has been imposed on anybody carrying stones, weapons, firecrackers and other explosive materials," the Kolkata Police said in an order.

Police pickets were set up at 38 locations across Bhabanipur, the official said.

On the day of the polling, 22 sector mobile, nine HRFS (Heavy Radio Flying Squad) teams, 13 quick response teams (QRTs), nine teams each of the static surveillance team, flying squad, and an equal number of striking forces from surrounding police stations will be deployed, he said.

Besides, three sub-division striking forces will also be deployed, he added.

One additional police commissioner along with four joint police commissioners, 14 deputy commissioners and an equal number of assistant commissioners have been deployed for the Bhabanipur by-election, the official said.

"We have also opened three additional control rooms. There will be arrangements for 141 special vehicles to escort the EVMs," he said.

Two strong rooms to store the EVMs have been set up at the Sakhawat Memorial Govt Girls'' High School on Lord Sinha Road, he said.

All policemen have been asked to wear raincoats and carry umbrellas owing to the inclement weather conditions in the city.

The Election Commission has also asked the Irrigation Department to be on alert owing to the weather conditions here, the official said.

"All the polling centres have been asked to keep pumps ready to drain floodwater. We have also asked the Irrigation Department and Disaster Management Department to be ready in case of any emergency because of the heavy rainfall," he said.

Strict security arrangements have also been made in Jangipur and Samserganj where assembly polls will be held on Thursday, an election official said.

There are 363 booths in Jangipur and 329 in Samserganj, he said.

With inputs from PTI

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India World News: Bhabanipur Assembly Election 2021 Voting LIVE Updates: EC rejects BJP's poll-rigging claim in high-profile seat
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