Madhya Pradesh bypolls: About 20 percent turnout in first four hours of polling
Bhopal/UNI: A turnout of approximately 20 percent was recorded in the first four hours of voting Saturday in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa parliamentary constituency; Prithvipur, Raigaon and Jobat assembly segments where by-elections are underway.
The official polling timings are 7 am-6 pm.
A total of 48 candidates are trying their electoral fortunes and counting is scheduled for Tuesday.
Khandwa has a 19,68,805-strong electorate; Prithvipur 1,98,542; Raigaon 2,07,443 and Jobat 2,75,214 while the polling centres number 2,908; 306; 313 and 417 respectively – of these 865 are sensitive. Webcasting is being undertaken at 874 centres and 361 being monitored through closed-circuit television.
As many as 10,027 balloting units (including reserve ones); 5,517 control units and 5,886 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units have been provided; it was officially learnt. Novel coronavirus protection-related protocol is being observed.
In Khandwa, the principal contest is between Gyaneshwar Patil (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Rajnarayan Singh Purni (Congress) who are among 16 contestants.
Former minister Sulochana Rawat (BJP) and Mr Mahesh Patel (Cong) are in a six-cornered fight in Alirajpur district’s Jobat (Scheduled Tribes). In Vindhya region’s Satna district’s Raigaon (Scheduled Castes), Mrs Pratima Bagri (BJP) is locking horns with Mrs Kalpana Verma (Cong) and 14 others.
Bundelkhand region’s Niwari district’s Prithvipur is witnessing a 10-cornered struggle where Mr Shishupal Singh (BJP) and Mr Nitendra Singh Rathore (Cong) are the main contenders.
The by-elections have been necessitated by the demises of BJP leader Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan (Khandwa), the Congress’ Kalawati Bhuriya (Jobat), BJP’s Jugul Kishor Bagri (Raigaon) and Congress’ Brajendra Singh Rathore (Prithvipur).
Fifty Special Armed Force companies from other states and eight from within Madhya Pradesh have been stationed. A total 914 officers of the ranks of deputy superintendent, town inspector, sub-inspector or assistant sub-inspector; 6,962 head constables/constables; 3,123 Home Guard personnel and 3,945 special police officers are on duty.
As many as 42 interstate check-posts, 37 inter-district ones, 55 flying squads and 64 static surveillance teams are part of the arrangements.