Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who vacated the Bhawanipur assembly seat for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Thursday cast his vote during the bypolls. Chattopadhyay, who is the Agriculture Minister in the West Bengal government, was accompanied by his son Sayandeb to the polling station. Expressing happiness after voting for the chief minister, he termed Banerjee one of the best leaders in the country.
“I am very happy that I am voting for Mamata Banerjee. Mamata is the leader of the entire country. The more votes she gets, the more dignity increases. She is one of the best leaders in the country,” Chattopadhyay said outside the polling booth, showing his inked finger.
Bhawanipur recorded 35.97 per cent voting till 1 pm, according to the Election Commission. Chattopadhyay is confident that more and more people will come out to vote today to make Banerjee win by a big margin. “As the day progresses, the votes in Bhawanipur will increase. This is the trend,” he told reporters.
After a slow start in the morning, the voting percentage picked significantly. Till 9 am, only six per cent of the votes were cast, but as the day progressed, the turnout increased considerably. By 11 am, 21 per cent turnout was recorded, which went further up to 35.97 per cent by 1 pm.
Bypolls are being conducted in three assembly constituencies in West Bengal. Banerjee is pitched against BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal in Bhawanipur. Tibrewal alleged that the TMC is paying people to cast votes. “A man confessed to me that TMC paid him Rs 500 to cast vote. He was from Bansdroni. I have informed the authorities,” she told news agency ANI.
West Bengal | Priyanka Tibrewal, the BJP candidate for Bhabanipur by-poll, alleges that TMC is paying some people to cast a vote"A man confessed to me that TMC paid him Rs 500 to cast vote. He was from Bansdroni. I have informed the authorities," she says. pic.twitter.com/qVCQfKEjyf
— ANI (@ANI) September 30, 2021
Banerjee must win the Bhawanipur constituency to remain the state chief minister. Earlier this year, Banerjee had lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.