Polling began for the by-elections to Bhowanipur and Basirhar North assembly constituencies in West Bengal amid tight security on Sunday morning.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who resigned from her Parliament membership to take over as West Bengal chief minister, is locked in a six-cornered contest in Bhowanipore.
But it will effectively be a contest between Banerjee and Nandini Mukherjee of the CPI(M) which was routed in the recent assembly elections after over three decades of power in the state.
As many as 2.12 lakh voters in Bhowanipur will cast their votes in 264 polling stations while 1.93 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in 239 polling stations in Basirhat North seat, state chief electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.
Steady streams of voters were seen in front of the booths in Bhowanipore.
Trinamool Congress candidate ATM Abdullah is locked in a four-cornered contest in Basirhat North with CPI(M)'s Subid Ali Gazi being his principal opponent.
Gupta said central forces have been deployed in all polling stations and polling premises, while multi-tier security rings have been arranged.
Along with the central forces, personnel of West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police would be deployed in their respective areas, he said.
While Bhowanipur seat fell vacant following the resignation of its sitting legislator Subrata Bakshi of Trinamool Congress, by-election to Basirhat North seat is being held owing to the death of its MLA, CPI(M)'s Mustafa Bin Qasem.