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Bengal by-polls peaceful
M Chhaya in Kolkata | June 08, 2003 21:29 IST
Over 65 per cent of the electorate turned up on Sunday to vote in the by-election to a parliamentary and an assembly seat in West Bengal.
Nabadwip parliamentary seat recorded about 70 per cent polling and Vidyasagar assembly seat about 61 till 1700 IST.
State Chief Election Officer S K Haque described polling as peaceful.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Narayan Chandra Ghosh said there was no report of any untoward incident in Nabadwip or Vidyasagar.
Eight candidates each were contesting the two seats.
In Nabadwip, the Communist Party of India-Marxist has fielded Alokesh Das, the Trinamool Congress Abir Ranjan Biswas and the Congress Rajoni Doloi.
In Vidyasagar, the prominent candidates are Anadi Sahu (CPI-M), Mohua Mondal (Congress) and Ashok Sinha (Bharatiya Janata Party) who has the backing of the Trinamool Congress.
The by-poll in Nabadwip (Nadia district) was necessitated by the death of Trinamool Congress MP Ananda Mohan Biswas while the passing away of CPI-M lawmaker Laxmi Dey prompted the by-poll to the Vidyasagar seat in Kolkata.
Though police said the election was fair, the opposition Trinamool lodged a complaint that ruling CPI-M cadres had jammed booths and prevented voters from exercising their franchise in some places in Chakda area in Nabadwip.
Incidentally, 48 hours before the election Nadia District Magistrate and Returning Officer Krishna Gupta had been removed for violating rules by meeting Chief Minster Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
Congress party sources claimed that Mohua Mandal was attacked with lathis allegedly by CPI-M cadres when she was moving in a car in Bechu Chatterjee Street in north Kolkata.
Mohua is the daughter of former Union minister and suspended Trinamool Congress leader Ajit Panja.
WBPCC vice-president Pradip Bhattacharya told newspersons that Mondal escaped unhurt, but her vehicle was damaged.
A complaint has been lodged with the Chief Election Commissioner and the state's Chief Electoral Officer, he said.
CEO Haque said that the car in which Leader of Opposition Pankaj Banerjee was travelling had been seized at Ranaghat (in Nabadwip) and its driver arrested for plying the vehicle within the constituency without a proper permit from the returning officer.
The CEO said that during the day, he received about 50 'minor complaints' from various political parties, both from Nabadwip and Vidyasagar.
All the complaints were attended to, but were found to be without basis, he said.No political party had demanded a re-poll. "In fact, the EC has expressed surprise at the absence of any major complaint or demand for re-poll," he said.
More reports from West Bengal