Voting was being held in the bypoll for the Sabang assembly constituency in West Bengal under tight security on Thursday, amid reports of sporadic clashes between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP. Polling began at 7 a.m.
The Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Trinamool of not letting its polling agents into certain polling booths. The Trinamool, however, denied the allegation and charged the BJP with making false claims to hide its organisational weakness in the area.
Eight companies of central forces has been deployed for an electorate of 2,45,259, who are eligible to vote in 306 polling booths. Around 40 booths have been identified as sensitive.
More than 100 CCTV cameras have also been installed outside the booths for surveillance.
The bypolls were necessitated by the sitting Congress legislator Manas Bhunia’s resignation after he crossed over to the Trinamool. He is now a Rajya Sabha member of his new party.
For the bypoll, the Trinamool has nominated Bhunia’s wife Gita Rani Bhunia, the Congress has opted for a local leader Chiranjib Bhowmick, Rita Mondal is the Left Front nominated Communist Party of India-Marxist aspirant, while the BJP candidate is Antara Bhattacharyya.
There is also a Socialist Unity Centre of India-Communist contestant.