BJP registers victory in MP’s Bandhavgarh, counting on in Ater | india-news | Hindustan Times
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BJP registers victory in MP’s Bandhavgarh, counting on in Ater

BJP retained the Bandhavgarh assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday and counting was on in Ater where the Congress candidate raised doubt over an electronic voting machine once again.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2017 17:17 IST
Congress party activists demonstrate in Bhopal against the use of EVMs in the bypolls.
Congress party activists demonstrate in Bhopal against the use of EVMs in the bypolls.(PTi Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained the Bandhavgarh assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday and counting was on in Ater where the Congress candidate raised doubt over an electronic voting machine once again.

Polling in the two seats grabbed headlines following allegations that a device registered votes only for the saffron party during the media demonstration of a Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT by chief electoral officer Saleena Singh during a press conference in Bhind on March 31.

The incident gave a shot in the Congress’ arm to raise its voice against polling through EVM once again.

In Bandhavgarh, the BJP candidate Shivnarayan Singh ‘Lallu Bhaiya’ defeated his nearest rival, Congress’ Savitri Singh by a margin of 25,476 votes.

Shivnarayan is the son of Gyan Singh whose resignation from the state assembly necessitated the bypoll to the seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).

He continued to maintain a lead over the Congress right from the round 1 during counting which began at 8am. The formal declaration of the victory is yet to be made.

In Ater, Congress candidate Hemant Katare raised an objection over the signature on an EVM and counting was suspended for some time.

The close contest between the two parties in the constituency was reflected during the counting.

Katare maintained a lead over his rival Arvind Bhadoriya, the BJP candidate, after the counting of postal ballot and that of the first round of EVM votes. Bhadoriya later left Katare behind in the second round and maintained a lead in the third round as well by 452 votes.

In the fourth round, Congress surpassed the BJP but in the very next round, Bhadoriya managed to lead again. After the 11th round, the Congress candidate was leading by over 2163 votes.

The Congress continued to raise its voice against polling through EVMs in MP after the BJP’s resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in particular. The government and the Election Commission have dismissed the charges that EVMs can be rigged and the poll panel has even challenged anyone to hack a device.

The EC transferred the collector, superintendent of police and several other officials from the district after the EVM row.

Bypolls to the two seats were necessitated due to the death of the former leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare, who won the Ater seat in 2013, and the election of Gyan Singh to Lok Sabha in a by-election, who represented Bandhavgarh seat in the assembly.

By-elections were held in 10 assembly constituencies in 8 states on Sunday. Two seats each are in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and one each in West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Delhi.

The BJP won assembly bypolls in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam while it was leading in Rajasthan as results poured in for the seats.