By-elections in 28 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh witnessed 69.7% turnout on Tuesday, a drop of about 3% over last polls, according to provisional figures released by the Election Commission of India. The results will decide the fate of the seven-month-old BJP government.
In the 2018 general elections, these seats had seen a voter turnout of 72.93%. The final tally this time could go up by a percent or so. Nine assembly constituencies reported an increase in voter turnout though it was only by about one percent. These include Bhander, Mungaoli, Karera, Pohri, Ashoknagar, Mungaoli, Suwasra, Agar and Biaora constituencies where voters demonstrated more excitement compared to general elections of 2018.
Highest voter turnout was reported from Agar with 83.75% and lowest in Gwalior East where 48.15% voters exercised their franchise. The fate of 355 candidates, including 12 ministers, was locked in EVMs on Tuesday. Special preparations were made for polling considering Covid-19 pandemic.
In Gwalior and Chambal, there were violations of Covid guidelines whereas voters from Malwa were comparatively disciplined.
Shivraj targets Cong over EVMs: Thanking the voters, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that doubts cast by the Congress on the EVMs shows that it has accepted defeat. He said, “Voters in several constituencies have shown exemplary excitement by crossing the 2018 voting percentage.”
BJP used all tactics to cover up its defeat: Nath: Former CM Kamal Nath said that the BJP had done all in its power to defeat the Congress including distributing money, liquor and misuse of state machinery. I am sure Congress will emerge victorious and form govt after 10.
Moderate to high voting in 9 states
Lucknow/Ahmedabad: Moderate to high polling was recorded on Tuesday in by-elections to 26 assembly constituencies in 9 states despite the shadow of Covid-19 pandemic. The results will be declared on November 10.
While Pungro-Kiphire seat in Nagaland saw the highest voting of 89.%, the turnout was the poorest in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Karnataka at 39.15%, according to figures from officials of respective states. In most of the other seats the polling figure was above 50%. The turnout in 7 seats in Uttar Pradesh was 53%, while Gujarat saw 58.58% in 8 constituencies. Nearly 68% voters exercised their franchise in Baroda. In Karnataka, 77.34% voters cast their ballot in Sira. While Jharkhand and Odisha had bypolls in 2 constituencies each, Chhattisgarh and Telangana saw voting in 1 seat each.
Firing in Chambal
Six incidents of firing were reported during polling in Gwalior-Chambal region on Tuesday. Congress and BJP workers came face-to-face at many places as an EVM was smashed in Meghgaon and two motorcycles were set on fire in Morena. Few contestants were put under house arrest in the region as preventive measures.
Intelligence reports had already warned of violence during bypolls, especially in the Gwalior-Chambal region.
In Gohad, three candidates Ranveer Jatav (BJP), Mewaram Jatav (Congress) and Yashwant Patwari (BSP) were kept in the PWD guest house till the end of polling. In Gwalior East too, the police had to house BJP candidate Munnalal Goyal, Congress candidate Satish Sikarwar and BSP candidate in circuit house.
While 3 firing incidents were reported in Sumawali constituency, 4 people were arrested in Kaspura village following the firing. Another incident was reported from Khaneta village. Congress accused BJP of booth capturing in Sumawali. In Bhind, 4 gunmen tried to scare voters at Sodha booth. On being alerted, the SP rushed to the spot along with commandos and brought the situation under control.
Diggy seeks repolling at 17 stations: Former CM Digvijaya Singh has demanded re-polling on 17 polling stations of Sumawali. He alleged the administration and the police were helping BJP candidates and failed to check wrongdoings during polling.