Kolkata: Around 30-32 per cent votes were cast in the first four hours in by-polls to the Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara assembly seats in West Bengal on Monday, a poll panel official said.
The opposition Left Front, however, accused the state's ruling Trinamool Congress of capturing over 100 polling booths in Noapara. "Till 11 a.m., 30-32 per cent voters have exercised their choice," the Election Commission official said. Nine candidates are in the fray for the Uluberia seat, where the election has been necessitated by the death of sitting Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed.
The Trinamool has nominated Ahmed's widow Sajda, while Sabiruddin Molla is the Left's candidate from the Communist Party of India-Marxist. Anupam Mallik is fighting on a BJP ticket and Madassar Hossain Warsi is the Congress' nominee. Four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the Noapara seat, where the death of Congress legislator Madhusudan Ghose has led to the by-poll.
The Congress contestant is Goutam Bose, that of the Trinamool is Sunil Singh while the CPI-M has nominated Gargi Chatterjee. Sandip Banerjee is the BJP candidate. The CPI-M has complained to the Election Commission that Trinamool-backed miscreants threw out its polling agents and captured 115 polling booths. But the Trinamool "rubbished" the allegations. The counting of votes will take place on February 1.