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New Delhi: According to the official early trends of the Election Commission, TMC is leading in Asansol parliamentary seat in West Bengal as the counting of bypolls is on. TMC had fielded Shatrughan Sinha from this seat, BJP had fielded Agnimitra Paul. On the other hand, Congress is leading in Kolhapur North assembly seat in Maharashtra and Khairagarh assembly seat in Chhattisgarh as the counting of votes for the bypolls is underway.

Counting of votes began on Saturday for by-elections to one Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal’s Asansol and four assembly seats in Bengal’s Ballygunge, Chhattisgarh’s Khairagarh, Bihar’s Bochahan and Maharashtra’s Kolhapur North. The fate of BJP and TMC candidates will be known today, however, both the parties considered the bypolls to be equally prestigious as they wanted to show their supremacy by winning seats.

It will be a challenge for the BJP to retain the Asansol seat, while it could be a surprise in TMC’s stronghold Ballygunge constituency. While winning the Asansol constituency for the first time and retaining the Ballygunge seat is an acid test for TMC. The by-election to Bochahan assembly seat in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur was held due to the death of MLA Musafir Paswan, who won on a Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) ticket. The ruling Congress and the opposition BJP are face to face in the by-election to Khairagarh assembly seat of Chhattisgarh.

Counting of votes began amid tight security arrangements, an election official said. In the elections held on April 12, 66.42 per cent and 41.23 per cent polling was recorded in Asansol Lok Sabha constituency and Ballygunge assembly constituency respectively. A total of 15 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in Asansol of Paschim Bardhaman. While 2.5 lakh people could vote in Ballygunge in South Kolkata.

The bypoll was held because Babul Supriyo had resigned as MP from Asansol after joining the Trinamool Congress from the BJP, while Minister of State Subrata Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge, died last year. TMC has fielded veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha in Asansol, which has a sizeable Hindi-speaking population. BJP has fielded MLA Agnimitra Paul from Asansol South. The ruling Trinamool Congress has fielded Supriyo from Ballygunge, where he is pitted against BJP’s Kiya Ghosh and CPI(M)’s Saira Shah Haleem. Congress is also in the fray in both the seats.

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