Peaceful polling in bypolls to LS, Assembly seats
Polling was peaceful amid moderate to high voter turnout in the byelections to Lok Sabha seats and Assembly constituencies spread over seven states on Saturday.
The counting of votes will be on November 22 and results are expected the same day.
Polling took place in Lakhimpur (Assam), Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), Coochbehar and Tamluk Lok Sabha constituencies (West Bengal) along with bypolls to Assembly seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Puducherry.
The bypolls assume significance as it happens to be the first electoral test for the ruling BJP at the Centre after the recent move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
A high voter turnout of 81 per cent was recorded in the by-elections held in two Lok Sabha and one Assembly constituency in West Bengal. The Congress announced withdrawing their candidate from the Monteswar Assembly seat.
In Madhya Pradesh, a voter turnout of 66.14 per cent was recorded in the by-election to the Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency while 71.25 per cent voting was recorded in the bypoll to Nepanagar Assembly seat. An estimated 61 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise for byelections to Lakhimpur Parliamentary constituency and Baithalangso Assembly seat in Assam.
The by-elections to Lakhimpur parliamentary constituency was necessitated as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal vacated the seat following his election in May last to the state Assembly from Majuli constituency, which falls under this Lok Sabha seat.
In Baithalangso, it was necessitated as sitting Congress MLA Man Singh Rongpi left the party to join the BJP in July.
In Arunachal Pradesh, an estimated 72 per cent electorate exercised their franchise in the byelection to Hayuliang constituency in the remote Anjaw district, bordering China, amid a massive security blanket.
In Tamil Nadu, polls for Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur and bypolls for Thirupparankundram in Tamil Nadu and Nellithope seat in neighbouring Puducherry saw an impressive turnout in a peaceful atmosphere amid tight security with the voting percentage crossing 80 per cent in two of the Assembly segments.
In Tripura, a very high voter turnout was recorded in the bypoll to Barjala and Khowai Assembly seats.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer Debasish Modak said 86 per cent electorate exercised its franchise in Barjala Assembly constituency, while 94 per cent voters cast their votes in the Khowai constituency.