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Featured Image: BJP workers demonstrate in Kolkata over alleged Trinamool violence at Sabang bye-poll. 

Midnapore: THE bye-election at Sabang Assembly segment in West Midnapore district has ended amidst sporadic incidents of violence allegedly prompted by the ruling party Trinamool.

There has, however, been no major irregularity and there is no report of casualty.  The voting started at 7 in the morning and ended at 5 in the afternoon when the turnout was recorded at 85 per cent.

Bengal wing officials of the Election Commission of India said that the turnout figure could go up a little after the final tabulation. The total number of voters at Sabang is 2,45,259 lakh, while the number of polling stations was 306.

In several booths, Trinamool cadres allegedly prevented CPI-M and BJP polling agents from taking to their seats. Some of the polling stations, where such strong-arm tactics were resorted to, include 44, 160, 170, 291, 302, and 303.

A CPI-M agent has been hospitalised, while three workers received outdoor treatment after they were beaten up allegedly by Trinamool backed goons. The goons allegedly wanted CPI-M agent not to turn up at polling station no 160 and resorted to a physical assault when he defied.

Similarly, a BJP worker was assaulted near booth 44 with the needle of blame pinned at Trinamool workers.

Peeved at this, BJP youth wing members went to the office of state Chief Electoral Officer at Dalhousie in Kolkata and held demonstrated in front of the office building from 3 pm.

They demanded that the election should be abrogated and the voting conducted afresh. They burned Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s effigy accusing her party Trinamool of resorting to intimidation and violence to win the bye-poll.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that due to Trinamool’s strong-arm tactics, the bye-poll is unlikely to reflect the public mandate at Sabang. “Yet, we have faith in the people and are sure that BJP’s vote share will increase significantly,” Ghosh said adding that more Central troops should have been deployed for the bye-poll.

Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Manas Bhunia, whose wife Geeta is running for Sabang seat on the Trinamool ticket, has refuted all the charges.

“Why ever we would vitiate the poll when we will win hands down?” Bhunia, who is also a former MLA from Sabang said. The counting of votes will be on 24 December from 8 in the morning.

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