Moderate to high turnout recorded

Moderate to high turnout recorded

New Delhi: Moderate to high turnout was recorded in 13 Assembly constituencies across seven states where bypolls were held on Wednesday including Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

Voting time was from 7 am to 6 pm. According to the Voter Turnout App of the Election Commission (EC), Tamil Nadu’s Vikravandi Assembly seat registered the highest polling percentage among the 13 constituencies and Uttarakhand’s Badrinath seat saw the lowest turnout.

The electoral exercise, the first since the Lok Sabha polls, will decide the fate of many veterans and some debutantes, including Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur.

In Uttarakhand’s Manglaur constituency, four people were injured in a clash between supporters of rival parties at a polling booth. Roorkee Civil Line Kotwali in-charge R K Saklani told news agency that a report was received about the clash at booth number 53-54 in Libbarheri in Manglaur.

Some reports claimed there was firing at the booth but police denied the reports.

Purported videos of the clash showed Congress candidate and former MLA Qazi Nizamuddin taking a man in bloodstained clothes to the hospital. He accused the BJP of throttling democracy by sowing seeds of hatred. Another video showed him embracing an injured party worker at the hospital.

Violence erupted at the booth when some people with half their faces covered started stopping people from voting, sources said.

While 68.24 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in Manglaur, Badrinath reported a turnout of 49.80 per cent.

The Manglaur bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting BSP MLA Sarwat Karim Ansari last October, while the Badrinath seat fell vacant after sitting Congress MLA Rajendra Bhandari resigned and switched to the BJP in March.

Among the constituencies, Raiganj witnessed the highest turnout at 67.12 per cent, followed by Ranaghat Dakshin at 65.37 per cent, Bagda at 65.15 per cent and Maniktala at 51.39 per cent.

In Bihar, where bypolls were held for the Rupauli Assembly seat, two officials were injured when a mob attacked a police party in Purnea.

Sub Divisional Police Officer (Sadar) Pushkar Kumar said polling was disrupted briefly because of the clash and a sub-inspector and a constable were injured.

According to the state election office, a voter turnout of 57.25 per cent was recorded in the bypoll to the Rupauli seat, down from 61.19 per cent the constituency witnessed in the 2020 Assembly election.

The bypoll was necessitated by the resignation of sitting MLA Bima Bharti, who had won the seat for the JD(U) several times in the past but quit the party recently to contest the Lok Sabha election on an RJD ticket.

Eleven candidates were in the fray. The JD(U) fielded Kaladhar Prasad Mandal, who had contested the 2020 Assembly polls from the seat as an Independent. Former MLA Shankar Singh, who recently quit the LJP (Ram Vilas), was also in the fray as an independent.

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