MP bypolls: Cong alleges firing at Ater candidate

MP bypolls: Cong alleges firing at Ater candidate

MP bypolls: Cong alleges firing at Ater candidate
Stray incidents of violence were reported in the bypoll underway at Madhya Pradesh's Ater Assembly seat with the Congress alleging that its candidate was attacked by the BJP workers and gunshots were fired at him. The Election Commission officials, however, said there was a dispute between the agents of the Congress and the BJP.

Meanwhile, the polling in Bandhavgarh (ST) Assembly seat bypoll in Umaria district was progressing smoothly without any untoward incident being reported. Amid incidents of violence, polling is also underway for the bypoll to Ater Assembly seat in Bhind district. State Congress chief Arun Yadav, at a press conference, alleged that, "Seeing its imminent defeat, the BJP has been desperately trying to capture booths."

"The BJP workers attacked the Congress candidate from Ater, Hemant Katare. Gunshots were fired at him at a booth in Sankri village. The vehicles of mediapersons were also damaged," he claimed. Yadav also alleged that the BJP was using the administration to affect the electoral process.

"At least 40 booth agents were detained by the administration last night. Nearly 35 of them were released late last night when the Congress complained to the Election Commission," he said. The MP Congress Chief further alleged that the ruling party was trying to capture at least 40-45 booths in Ater constituency.

However, the Election Commission's state PRO said there was a dispute between agents at Sankri booth in Ater constituency. "There was a dispute between agents of the Congress and the BJP. The district Collector and Superintendent of Police informed that Congress candidate reached at Sankri booth of the constituency. This created the dispute," the PRO said.

He said the polling was continuing there in a peaceful manner. "Police fired in the air to control the situation," the state chief electoral officer said at a press conference. Meanwhile, around 25 per cent polling was recorded till 11 AM in Ater. In Bandhavgarh, there was around 25.7 per cent polling till 11 AM, an official said.

In Ater, the Congress has fielded Hemant Katare, son of former Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare, whose death necessitated the bypoll. From BJP, former MLA Arvind Singh Bhadoria is contesting the bypoll.

The bypoll in Bandhavgarh seat was necessitated as its MLA Gyan Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha in November last year. The main contest in Bandhavgarh (ST) seat is between the BJP's Shivnarayan Singh, son of Gyan Singh, and Savitri Singh of the Congress. The counting of votes will take place on April 13.