51% turnout in Hamirpur assembly by-electionUpdated: Sep 23, 2019 20:53 IST
The Hamirpur assembly bypoll passed off peacefully on Monday with 51% voters exercising their franchise, braving incessant rainfall and flood in various areas.
There was no report of any untoward incident in the constituency, assistant chief electoral officer Arvind Kumar Pandey said in a statement.
The Election Commission had made arrangements for polling in flood-hit areas too, he said. Counting of votes will be taken up on September 27.
Till 9am, merely 5.60% votes were polled and polling picked up in the evening with 32.95% of the voters exercising their franchise. In the 2017 assembly election, 63.63% votes were polled in the same constituency.
During polling, 20 VVPAT machines were replaced due to faults.
The Election Commission deployed Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF), a general observer, an expenditure observer, 36 sector magistrates, four zonal magistrates and 35 micro observers to monitor polling, district returning officer Abhishek Prakash said.
The seat fell vacant after BJP MLA Ashok Singh Chandel was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case of 1997.
There are nine candidates in the fray. The BJP has fielded former MLA Yuvraj Singh. Dr Manoj Prajapati is the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate while the BSP has fielded its former coordinator Naushad Ali. Hardeepak Nishad is the Congress candidate.
The assembly constituency has 4.01 lakh voters and 256 polling centres.
The rain began early morning and continued till late evening.
Voters waded through waterlogged streets to reach polling centres where water had entered the rooms.
Technical glitches in EVMs slowed down the pace of voting in some places.
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were changed after SP workers noticed they did not bear the party candidate’s name, nor the party symbol in Sumerpur.
People in some villages close to the district headquarters boycotted voting.
Voters of Milawan and Mirpur demanded a makeshift dam on the Yamuna and officials had a hard time trying to convince them to give up their boycott.
Similarly, residents of Kakrau village in Kurara block did not out go to vote. People in Ramana village, however, agreed to vote after the officials said their demands would be met.
Webcasting of the poll process was done from 52 booths categorised as ‘critical’ to keep a watch on them, the officials said.
First Published: Sep 23, 2019 20:53 IST