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West Bengal Election: Election Commission Defers By-elections Owing To COVID-19 Surge

The Election Commission deferred the Samserganj and Jangipur by-elections scheduled to take place on May 16 owing to rising COVID-19 cases in West Bengal. 

West Bengal election

PTI


The Election Commission deferred the Samserganj and Jangipur by-elections scheduled to take place on May 16 owing to rising COVID-19 cases in West Bengal. While results for 292 seats in the West Bengal election have been declared, the election to the aforesaid constituencies could not take place due to the demise of RSP's Jangipur candidate Pradip Nandi and Congress' Samserganj candidate Rezaul Haque. Meanwhile, the Pipli Assembly poll in Odisha was also deferred. The recent restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 imposed by the respective state governments also played a key role in the poll body's decision.

In a statement, the EC noted, "Commission after taking all material facts and inputs of CEO West Bengal and CEO Odisha in consideration and taking note of lockdown/restrictions under Disaster Management Act, 2005, as issued by NDMA/SDMA has decided to defer the scheduled poll and extend the period of elections in 110-Pipli AC of Odisha and 58-Jangipur & 56-Samserganj assembly constituencies of West Bengal. Fresh notification will be issued after assessing the pandemic situation. 3. It is also directed that MCC in these Assembly Constituencies is hereby lifted from immediate effect and will be in operation from next date of notification."

West Bengal election

After a hard-fought election campaign, TMC sprung a surprise by decisively winning the West Bengal election by bagging 213 seats whereas BJP could win in only 77 constituencies. The voter turnout for the seats that went to the polls in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth phases was 84.63 per cent, 86.11 per cent, 84.61 per cent, 79.90 per cent, 82.49 per cent, 79.11 per cent, 76.90 per cent and 78.32 per cent respectively. While the JP Nadda-led party won 74 more seats than the previous election, its vote share of 38.13% could not pose a challenge to TMC which garnered a vote share of 47.94%.

While the ruling party bettered its performance compared to 2016, it suffered a minor blip as WB CM Mamata Banerjee lost from Nandigram to her BJP opponent Suvendu Adhikari. However, barring the Nandigram MLA, most other TMC leaders who had switched over to BJP prior to the election could not win their seats. Even ex-nominated Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, Union Minister Babul Supriyo and BJP Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee had to face defeat. On the other hand, the Left-Congress-ISF alliance was routed failing to win even a single seat in the polls. Banerjee will take oath as the CM for the third time on May 5. 

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