RK Nagar by-poll ends peacefully, record turnout at 77.68 pc

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Dec 2017 09:44:43



THE RK Nagar by-poll on Thursday witnessed a record 77.68 per cent voter turnout with polling to the constituency, which was represented by the late J Jayalalithaa, passing off peacfully amid tight security.
Election officials here said there may be some variation in the figure after taking into consideration the polling percentage at some booths where voting went on beyond 5 pm.

The voter turnout is higher than the 68 per cent recorded in the 2016 assembly election,according to officials. The bypoll is being seen as an acid test for the CM K Palaniswami and Deputy O Panneeerselvam-led ruling AIADMK which is facing a strong challenge from sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran and an aggressive DMK. DMK is putting up a tough fight to wrest the seat after a hiatus of over two decades.

84.5 pc votes polled in Sabang by-poll: AN ESTIMATED 84.5 per cent votes were cast in on Thursday’s by-election to West Bengal’s Sabang Assembly constituency, where ruling TMC is locked in a high voltage fight with BJP and the CPI(M). According to the Election Commission sources about 84.5 per cent votes were recorded at the end of polls which passed off peacefully.

Polling in the constituency was held amid tight security with eight companies of central forces deployed, the sources said.
With opposition CPI(M) and BJP accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of driving away their election agents from the polling booths, the EC said it is looking into the complaints.

State BJP President Dilip Ghosh criticised TMC for resorting to terror during the polls and said “The election results will not reflect the real mandate of the people. The people of Sabang could not vote freely and fairly due to the terror tactics of TMC.”

He was echoed by the Congress and the CPI(M).
“The TMC has been doing this in each and every election. They know that they will lose Sabang and that is why they resorted to violence,” Leader of Opposition and State Congress leader Abdul Mannan said.
The TMC, however, denied the allegations and said the people have voted in favour of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s developmental politics.

“The allegation made by the opposition parties is completely baseless. Voting is peaceful in the constituency,” TMC Rajya Sabha MP Manas Bhunia, who is a former Congress MLA said.

TMC has fielded his wife Gita Rani Bhunia in the seat.
Manas Bhunia, had won the seat in last year’s Assembly poll on a Congress ticket but had defected to the Mamata Banerjee-led party earlier this year necessitating the byelection.

Antara Bhattacharya is the BJP candidate, while the Congress fielded Chiranjib Bhowmick, a local leader. Rita Mandal of the CPI(M) contested as a Left Front candidate.
Counting of votes for the by-election will be held on December 24.