Dhupguri bypoll records 75% turnout

Assembly bypoll in Dhupguri of the Jalpaiguri district passed off peacefully on Tuesday except for stray incidents in a few…

Dhupguri bypoll records 75% turnout

(Representational image)

Assembly bypoll in Dhupguri of the Jalpaiguri district passed off peacefully on Tuesday except for stray incidents in a few places.

However, the BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against an additional superintendent of police, Wangden Bhutia, who allegedly intimidated party candidate Tapasi Roy.

Around 74 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm, according to Jalpaiguri district magistrate (DM).


BJP candidate Ms. Roy, during her visit to several polling stations, noticed that West Bengal Police personnel were checking EPIC and slips from voters even standing at the gates of the polling booths. The BJP candidate immediately protested and requested the police to leave the entrance of polling booths.

Notably, the Central forces were deployed in all polling booths and the Bengal police were deployed in the polling premises to maintain the queue of voters.

The BJP candidate Ms. Roy asked the Bengal police why are you here, close to the door of a polling booth?

“You will do your duty at least 200 metres away from the polling booths. Central forces are here to keep a close eye and maintain the proper election procedure in the polling booth,” Ms Roy told some policemen.

It may be noted that the Leader of the Opposition of the State Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, during election campaigning in Dhupguri urged the people to stop the election if the Bengal (Mamata) police came within 200 meters of a polling station.

Though the police personnel left the place following requests from the BJP candidate, the Additional S P, Wangden Bhutia, rushed to the spot and asked the BJP candidate not to interfere in security arrangements and not disturb the election procedure.

Paying no heed to the BJP candidate’s plea, ASP Mr Bhutia said: “You can not ask the police to leave the place of their duty. You can’t do it. You are not a competent authority. Don’t do that. You are merely a candidate. You are circulating the wrong message. We don’t have instructions related to the 200-metre distance. You can lodge a complaint with the Observer here or with the Election Commission with the help of an App. But you can’t interfere and disturb police arrangements. This is the final and last appeal to you with due respect. We will withdraw the police forces if the Commission asks.”

Sources said on receiving information, the Election Commission in Kolkata has sought a report on it from the district magistrate.

Polling began at 7 am today in all 260 polling booths in Dhupguri on Tuesday and an average voter turnout of 33 per cent at 1 pm was recorded. Polling officials could not begin polling on time in a few booths due to a technical snag of EVM.

Voters witnessed a contrasting picture compared to recent political violence on the rural poll day in several places under the Dhupguri Assembly area. Where experienced violence and rigging in several polling stations, today they witnessed peaceful voting procedures there.

To avoid the scorching sun and 37-degree temperature, voters lined up in all polling stations since morning and exercised their democratic rights peacefully.

Police took prompt action when the senior BJP leaders, who were not voters of the Dhupguri segment, entered their party office in Dhupguri mid-day today.