Chhattisgarh records 50-55 percent voting

Chhattisgarh records 50-55 percent voting

Election officials said that voting was peaceful at most of the 221 polling booths.
"Voting was largely peaceful except for a few minor incidents. Though the final polling percentage will be known later, but I estimate the figure to be between 50-55 percent," District Electoral Officer, Ram Singh Thakur told reporters.

Voting began on a dull note in villages, but picked up later. In urban areas long queues of women were seen at polling booths even before voting began at 8.a.m.
At three places polling was held up briefly due to technical problems in the electronic voting machines (EVMs). 

About 211,000 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 15 candidates. The main contest is between the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jageshwar Sahu and the main opposition Congress nominee Bhajan Singh Nirankari.        
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the third force in Chhattisgarh's politics, has decided to stay out of the contest.      

The by-poll was necessitated after BJP legislator Saroj Pandey was elected to the Lok Sabha in May and vacated the assembly seat. Votes will be counted Nov 10.        
The Congress and the BJP have both claimed they were set for a record win in Vaishali Nagar.
Bypoll in the two assembly seats is taking place due to resignation of Union Steel minister Virbhadra Singh and BJP MP from Kangra Rajan Sushant respectively.

Singh had represented the seat, which is part of his Bushare royalty, for past 19 years beforing moving to Delhi.

In Rohroo, a polling party travelled at least 14 km from the nearest motorable road to reach the booth at Pandar in the interiors of Dodra Kawar.

Voting in bypoll to Vaishali Nagar Assembly seat in Durg district of Chhattisgarh was held under tight security.

Despite the presence of over a dozen candidates, the main fight is between ruling BJP's Jageshwar Sahu and Bhajan Singh Nirankari of the Congress.

The bypoll was necessitated after BJP legislator Saroj Pandey was elected to the Lok Sabha from Durg in May.

In Rajasthan, over 10 per cent voters cast their votes in Salumber and Todabheem assembly constituencies.

The outcome of the polls is being considered crucial for measuring the popularity of the Ashok Gehlot government and determining the stance of Gujjars after the Rajasthan High Court's recent stay on reservation granted to them.
The polling was peaceful as security forces and para military personnel kept a strict vigil in the poll-bound constituencies.

In Firozabad Lok Sabha seat, where Congress candidate Raj Babbar is pitted against Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Dimple, 18 per cent polling was registered whereas in 11 Assembly seats in the state, the turnout was over 15 per cent.

Barring minor complaints related to electronic voting machines at some places, polling was by and large smooth.

The lone Lok Sabha by-election in the state has been necessitated after Akhilesh Yadav, son of the SP chief, vacated the seat and retained Kannauj.

The West Bengal by-elections are being viewed as a dress rehersal for the 2010 Assembly polls in the state.

Today's by-polls are considered politically crucial as the outcome will reflect whether the ruling Left Front, that suffered a series of setbacks in some recent polls, is able to reverse the trend.

It will also show whether the Left parties have been able to put a check on the string of successes achieved by the Trinamool Congress-Congress electoral alliance.

Over 15 per cent voters turned up in the initial hours in the bypolls in Kannur, Ernakulam and Alappuzha Assembly constituencies in Kerala, another Left-ruled state.

The bypolls, necessitated following resignation of Congress MLAs on their getting elected to Lok Sabha, have gained importance as the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF sees it as an opportunity to boost its sagging morale after the Left Front's dismal show in the May Lok Sabha polls. The Congress-led UDF is leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory in these seats.

The fight in Kannur has received greater attention than the other two seats with Congress putting up former CPI-M MP A P Abdullakutty against Marxist warhorse M V Jayarajan.

In Rohroo and Jawali assembly seats of Himachal Pradesh, about 15 per cent polling was recorded.

(Second Lead)

Voting was also in progress in two seats in Assam -- Salmara South and Dhekiajuli.
Counting of votes will be taken up on November 10.

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