Bypolls to 5 more seats on May 19
The Election Commission has said bypolls will be held to five more Assembly seats in Bengal on May 19 and the counting will take place on May 23, along with the Lok Sabha seats, .
The five seats are Islampur (North Dinajpur), Habibpur (Malda), Nowda and Kandi (Murshidabad) and Bhatpara (North 24 Parganas).
The bypolls were declared by the commission on Saturday.
Earlier, the commission had announced the bypoll to the Darjeeling Assembly constituency on May 19.
The counting of votes in all the six seats will be taken up on May 23 when the results of the general election are slated to be declared.
The five seats were vacated by the sitting MLAs after they defected to other parties which fielded them in various Lok Sabha seats.
Kanaialal Agarwal, the Trinamul candidate for the Raiganj Parliament seat, had won from Islampur on the Congress ticket.
In Habibpur, Khagen Murmu had won as a CPM candidate, but he defected to the BJP which has fielded him in the Malda North Lok Sabha seat.
Similarly, Apurba Sarkar and Abu Taher Khan, both Congress MLAs of Kandi and Nowda, respectively, joined Trinamul. While Sarkar contests from Behrampore, Khan has been fielded in Murshidabad.
Bhatpara fell vacant when the sitting Trinamul MLA, Arjun Singh, defected to the BJP. He is contesting on the BJP ticket against Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamul in Barrackpore.
The BJP said it would fight the Islampur bypoll on the plank of the Daribhit school violence, in two youths were killed over recruitment of teachers in September last year.
“We have been consistently fighting for the rights of the residents of Daribhit and to ensure that families of the two deceased youths get justice. BJP workers and common people have relentlessly campaigned on the issue and we feel the Islampur candidate should be selected from among them,” said Debasree Chaudhury, the BJP candidate of the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat.
Congress leader and Ragainj candidate Deepa Das Munshi reached here on Sunday and held a meeting with North Dinajpur district party chief Mohit Sengupta and other leaders to decide on the Islampur bypoll candidate.
“The candidate will be selected from among those who worked for the Congress in Islampur during the Parliament elections,” said Deepa.