30 percent polling in Chhattisgarh by-election (Lead)

February 14th, 2011 - 2:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Raipur, Feb 14 (IANS) Voting was underway Monday for Chhattisgarh’s Sanjari-Balod assembly by-election and an estimated 30 percent polling was recorded by noon, election officials said.Polling began at 8 a.m. amid tight security and was peaceful at all 187 booths except one in Gurur area where voting was disrupted for about 10 minutes following tension between cadres of the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress.

Reports said heavy polling was recorded in the entire rural area where women were seen queueing up in large numbers at polling centres early in the morning.

Polling was dull in urban pockets but was expected to pick up by late afternoon.

Heavy security arrangements were made at all booths with extra forces deployed at 27 sensitive and six hyper-sensitive booths.

A total of 168,870 electors, including 83,425 women, are eligible to cast votes to decide the fate of 15 candidates though the main contest is between the BJP’s Kumari Bai Sahu and Mohan Patel of the Congress.

The Congress had lost the Sanjari-Balod seat, which is part of Durg district, by just a few hundred votes in November 2008 to BJP’s Madanlal Sahu, who died following cardiac arrest in August last year. The BJP candidate Kumari Bai is the widow of Madanlal Sahu while Congress has again bet on Mohan Patel, who had almost pulled off victory in the last poll.

The Sanjari-Balod seat is dominated by Other Backward Classes (OBC) and both the BJP and the Congress have fielded candidates from the OBC community.

The result will be announced Feb 17.

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