Security tightened for by-polls in West Bengal | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Security tightened for by-polls in West Bengal

kolkata Updated: Sep 24, 2011 22:38 IST

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Strong security arrangements have been made for the by-elections on Sunday in West Bengal's Bhowanipur and Basirhat assembly constituencies where as many as 4.05 lakh voters will exercise their franchise.

"Security arrangements will be the same as in the last Assembly elections. Central forces will be deployed at all the polling booths and premises. Besides, state police and Kolkata police personnel will be deployed in their respective areas of jurisdiction," state chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta told mediapersons.

He said there will also be multi-tier security rings and 'naka' parties.

Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is among the contestants in the city's Bhowanipur seat which fell vacant following the resignation of the sitting MLA of the party Subrata Bakshi.

By-election to the Basirhat North seat in North 24-Parganas district is being held following the death of CPI(M) MLA Musrafa Bin Qasem.

While the Bhowanipur seat will witness a six-cornered contest, there are a four candidates in the fray in Basirhat North constituency.

A total of 3,000 polling personnel will conduct the elections in the two constituencies, while a general observer and an expenditure observer of the Election Commission were camping in each of the constituencies since the past fortnight to oversee poll preparedness, Gupta said.

Micro observers will be deployed in the sensitive booths, he said, but could not give the number of such booths.

Gupta said 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.

Stating that 1.169 non-bailable warrants have been executed, he said 447 people have been rounded up under various sections of the CrPC.

Altogether 26 unlicensed arms, 23 cartridges and 16 explosives have been seized during raids ahead of the elections. As many as 111 licensed arms have also been deposited to the police.

Counting of votes will be taken up on September 28.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) candidate in Bhowanipur, Nandini Mukherjee has complained to the Returning Officer of the constituency claiming that her poll rival Mamata Banerjee had violated the Model Code of Conduct by declaring some railway programmes from the state secretariat.

To a question, Gupta said that he had not received the complaint. "We will attend to it once we receive it."