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Madhya Pradesh Bypolls: Over 70 Percent Voting Recorded in Two Assembly Seats

These bypolls are being seen as a prestige battle for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is in his third term as Chief Minister, and his arch-rival Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:February 24, 2018, 10:17 PM IST
Madhya Pradesh Bypolls: Over 70 Percent Voting Recorded in Two Assembly Seats
A total of 22 candidates from Mungaoli in Ashoknagar and 13 from Kolaras are in the fray. (Image: Network18)
Bhopal: Dubbed as the semi-finals ahead of 2018 Assembly polls, voters turned out in large numbers for bypolls to the Kolaras and Mungaoli constituencies on Saturday recording 70.46 per cent and 77.05 per cent respectively.

These polls gain importance as BJP recently suffered three losses in the bypolls in Rajasthan.

The Congress has fielded Mahendra Singh Yadav from Kolaras and Brijendra Singh Yadav from Mungaoli, while the BJP has fielded Baisahab Yadav from Mungaoli and Devendra Jain from Kolaras.

Overall, 13 candidates are in the fray in Mungaoli and 22 in Kolaras. Counting of votes would take place on February 28.

The bypolls were necessitated due to the death of Congress's Mungaoli MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukheda and its Kolaras MLA Ram Singh Yadav.

Both seats are in the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Barring minor disputes at some of the polling booths, the polling by and large remained peaceful in both Kolaras and Mungaoli.

At Digod village in Kolaras, Congress leaders complained that BJP workers were distributing flags, caps, and banners with BJP symbol while at one of the polling booths in Mungaoli, Congress complained of distribution of voter slips carrying pictures and poll symbol of BJP candidate and poll officers immediately stopped the same.

EVMs, VVPAT machines developed a snag at several places and were replaced by the polling officers.

However, with the Chief Electoral Officer Salina Singh dealing the model code of conduct breaches with iron hand, both BJP and Congress expressed resentment towards the Election Commission of India.

CEO Salina Singh, while talking to the media, did not hide her emotions.

“It’s a crown of thorns and no one would take it,” said Singh adding there was pressure from both the sides (from BJP and Congress). But I never felt any pressure and ensured free and fair elections, she said.

Congress was upset with the ECI over presence of large numbers of fake voters in voters’ list, while BJP was anguished over notice served to its minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia for intimidating the voters in her speech and show caused minister Maya Singh for her objectionable remarks in campaigning.

Congress state head Arun Yadav and other senior leaders accused ECI of working under influence of the BJP over voter list, misuse of government machinery and other issues.

The primary cause behind BJP’s resentment was the CEO’s notice to CM Shivraj served on Friday in which the commission ‘advised’ the CM to practice restrain in his speeches.

“BJP made mockery of by-polls by misusing money, administration and EVMs also,” Congress state head Arun Yadav said.

BJP state head Nandkumar Singh Chauhan expressed gratitude towards voters for peaceful polls.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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