C'garh: Chitrakot Assembly bypoll vote counting begins

(Representative Image) (DH File Photo)

Counting of votes for Chitrakot Assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh began on Thursday morning amid tight security.

Both the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in the state are eying victory in the Naxal-affected seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.

Counting began at 8 am at Women Polytechnic College, Dharampura, at the Bastar district headquarters of Jagdalpur, a poll official said.

"A three-layer security has been arranged at the counting centre," he said, adding that postal ballots will be counted first.

After completion of counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines, the exercise of matching Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with the EVMs will be carried out, he said.

The byelection was necessitated after Congress MLA Deepak Baij got elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar parliamentary constituency.

The bypoll held on Monday registered a voter turnout of 78.12 per cent.

The main contest is between Rajman Benzam of the Congress and Lachhuram Kashyap of the BJP.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, Congress' Deepak Baij defeated BJP's Kashyap from the constituency by a margin of 17,770 votes.

In the 90-member House, the Congress then won 68 seats and the BJP-15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the BSP bagged five and two seats, respectively.

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