Hamirpur, Dantewada bypoll record over 50% polling

Lucknow/Raipur, September 23

Some 53 per cent people voted in Dantewada and 51 per cent in Hamipur in by elections held on Monday, election officials said.

These numbers ore only tentative, and a finally tally of voters will be drawn up only later.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Hamipur, where Ashok Kumar, a legislator from Bharatiya Janata Party, was disqualified by his convicting in a murder case. No violence was reported during polling, Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Arbind Kumar said in a statement. Voting however was sluggish because of the continuous rain in the area.  

“Fifty-one per cent polling took place in the bypoll to Hamirpur Assembly constituency. The weather condition was rainy. No incident of violence or breach of law and order took place. Polling was peaceful,” he said.

Some nine candidates were fighting for the seat, among them BJP’s Yuwraj Singh), Congress party’s Hardeepak Nishad, Samajwadi Party’s Manoj Kumar Prajapati, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Naushad Ali and Communist Party of India’s Jamal Alam Mansoori.

There are over 4 lakh voters—2.20 lakh being males, 1.81 females and 10 of the third gender.

Some 476 polling booths were set up in 257 polling centres, election officials said here. Webcasting of the process was done at 52 booths categorised as “critical” to keep a watch over them, the officials said.

In Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, considered a sensitive area because it comes under what is considered the red-corridor of the country,  some 53 per cent voters cast their ballots until voting ended at 3 pm.

“After the deadline for voting ended at 3 pm, 53.25 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Dantewada seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST),” the poll official said.

Dantewada seat has 1,88,263 voters comprising 89,747 men and 98,876 women.

Voting usually ends earlier than other places here because the area prone to violence.  

This number is not a final voting tally however: voters were still queued up at polling stations when the figures came in. The finally voter figures can be known only later.      

The by elections came five months after the sitting legislator, Bhima Madavi, was killed in an Improvised Explosion Device explosion in April this year.

There were nine candidates contesting elections, prominent among them BJP’s Ojaswi Mandavi, wive of Member of Legislative Assembly Mandavi, and Devti Karma, wife senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma who was killed in Naxal violence in 2013.

Security forces recovered a 5-kg IED planted by naxals near Parcheli polling booth under Katekalyan police station limits, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.

The explosive was immediately defused, he added.

Dantewada is the only seat in the Bastar region that the BJP managed to win in the 2018 assembly elections, which brought a Congress government to power.

Devti Karma lost to Bhima Mandavi by a thin margin of 2,172 votes from Dantewada in the elections

Votes for both seats will be counted on September 27.

In the 90-member state Assembly, the Congress won 68 seats last year and the BJP 15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the BSP had bagged five and two seats respectively. PTI