55 percent vote in Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha bypoll

April 12th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by admin  


Bhopal, April 12 (IANS) About 55 percent voters cast their ballots for by-election to the Betul Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh Saturday. “While 57 percent cast their votes in the area falling under Betul district, 53 percent exercised their right to franchise in Harda district,” Betul collector and returning officer Arun Kumar Bhat told IANS on phone.

“There can be a variation of one or two percent when the final figures come in,” he said.

The constituency has more than 1.096 million voters, which include over 520,000 women. Polling started on a dull note in the morning and only 17 percent polling was recorded till noon.

It, however, picked up gradually and there was a huge rush of voters at almost all the booths after 3.30 p.m.

The borders of the two districts - Betul and Harda - under which the constituency falls were sealed Thursday.

No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the tribal dominated constituency. The bypoll was necessitated after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Vijay Khandelwal died last November.

A total of 14 candidates including Hemanth Khandelwal of the BJP, Sukhdeo Panse of the Congress and Sunilam of the Samajwadi Party were in the fray.

Polling was held at 1,219 polling centres, of which 332 were declared sensitive.

Eight battalions of the Special Armed Force (SAF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), besides over 3,000 personnel of the state police were deployed to ensure free and fair polling.

Twenty-four police teams were also put on poll duty. Counting will take place April 16 and the results are expected the same day.

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