77% polling in Dholpur assembly by-poll
Over 77 per cent polling was registered for the Dholpur Assembly by-poll in Rajasthan on Sunday, an official said.
"Till 6 p.m. tentatively around 77.26 percent of the 1.91 lakh voters had cast their votes," a state election department official told IANS.
It was slightly lower than the over 80 percent reported in the 2013 state assembly elections.
The polling started at 7 a.m. across 231 polling stations and continued till 6 p.m.
Enthusiasm among voters was high and since early morning voters were seen queuing up in front of polling booths.
Young and first-time voters were particularly excited to cast their votes.
Dushyant Singh, Member of Parliament and son of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, and his wife Niharika Singh also cast their votes.
Security was tight and 67 polling stations were identified as critical where extra security arrangements were made.
"Polling went on peacefully," said a district administration official.
There were some issues of EVMs not working properly but it was rectified soon.
The by-poll for Dholpur Assembly seat was necessitated after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Banwari Lal Kushavah was disqualified after he was convicted in a murder case last year.
The counting will take place on April 13 when the fate of 15 candidates will be decided. The main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's Shobha Rani Kushavah, wife of the convicted BSP leader, and Congress party's Banwari Lal Sharma, a former minister.
The by-election is a prestige issue for both the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and this can be gauged from the fact that Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje herself, state president of the BJP Ashok Parnami and her cabinet colleagues, have spent days in the constituency to woo voters.
Similar was the case with the Congress whose senior leaders, including state president Sachin Pilot, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and leader of opposition in the state assembly Rameshwar Dudi, campaigned extensively in the constituency to garner votes for their candidate.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress suffered one of its worst defeats in the history of the state, winning only 21 of the 200 assembly seats. The BJP swept the polls, winning 163 seats.
The BJP presently has a strength of 160 and Congress 24 in the House.