Counting of votes for West Bengal bypolls and one seat in Uttarakhand began at 8 am on Thursday amid tight security, Election Commission officials said.

Voting for by-polls in Bengal’s Karimpur, Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar assembly constituencies and Pithoragarh assembly seat in Uttarakhand was held on November 25.

Polling in West Bengal was marred by some incidents of violence including one in which Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit vice-president and Karimpur candidate Jay Prakash Majumdar was manhandled, kicked and pushed into a roadside ditch allegedly by Trinamool Congress workers. The TMC has denied any involvement in the attack on Majumdar.

Majumdar did not suffer any major injury because he fell in thick bushes. The election commission has sought a report from the state election office.

Around 78 per cent of more than seven lakh voters cast their votes in the Bengal bypolls where 18 candidates were in the fray.

Elections were held in Karimpur and Kharagpur after the legislators - TMC’s Mahua Moitra and BJP’s Dilip Ghosh -were elected to the Lok Sabha in the May general election. In Kaliaganj, the bypoll was necessitated by the death of Congress legislator Pramanath Roy.

In Pithoragarh, over 47 per cent of the electorate cast their vote in the bypolls. A total of 145 polling booths were set up in the constituency for over 1.05 lakh voters.

VK Jogdande, district election officer and district magistrate of Pithoragarh said voting was conducted peacefully without any case of violence being reported.

The assembly seat fell vacant after the death of former state finance minister Prakash Pant in June this year. BJP fielded his wife Chandra Pant as its candidate while Congress has fielded Anju Lunthi.