Polling for Garoth assembly by-election in Mandsaur district remained overall peaceful as 71.24% of the electorate exercised their franchise by 5.00pm on Saturday.
Keeping to the trend, the turnout of male voters was higher at 74.33% compared to 67.96% turnout for females, joint chief electoral officer (CEO) SS Bansal told HT.
The only jarring element was initial boycott of polls by section of residents of three villages - Hingoria Kheda, Antralia and Chouki. They were protesting against poor road connectivity and frequent power cuts.
The joint CEO said that election officials at the district level including the district collector Swatantra Kumar Singh could convince the villagers to cast their vote in second half of the day. Consequently, the three villages reported 45.98%, 66.43% and 55.38% polling respectively.
The by-election was ordered after the death of incumbent MLA Rajesh Yadav of BJP. The BJP has fielded Chander Singh Sisodia against four-time MLA and former minister Subhash Sojatia of Congress for the by-election.
A total of eight candidates including six independents were in the poll fray, in constituency, which has a total of 2, 18, 887 voters.
This is the first time photo set ballot papers have been fixed on EVMs.
Also, this is the first time when a special brush has been provided by the election office, along with the ink for marking.
The state president of BJP, Nandkumar Singh Chauhan expressed gratitude to the electorate of Garoth for peaceful polling. He said that the heavy polling percentage indicated the popularity of the party candidate Chandar Singh Sisodia and the corroboration of people of the achievements of the BJP government. “Sisodia would post historic win from the constituency,” the BJP chief said.
CM should resign: Ajay Singh
Former leader of opposition in state assembly Ajay Singh has demanded resignation of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan charging him with clear violation of election code of conduct.
Referring to the audio clipping in circulation which indicates alleged allurement given to BJP leader Rajendra Choudhary, Ajay Singh said that it was an attempt to allure the voters. Also he charged the ruling party with using government machinery in the polling process.