Bypolls held for two Lok Sabha, 12 assembly seats

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) Bypolls were held for two parliamentary constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and 12 assembly seats spread across 10 states on Saturday.

The by-election in Pipili assembly seat in Odisha was adjourned following the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. In Nagaland, only one candidate H Chuba Chang of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) had filed nomination for the bypoll to the Noksen assembly constituency and was elected unopposed, the Election Commission said.

In Andhra Pradesh, about 60-64 per cent turnout was recorded in the bypoll to the Tirupati(SC) Lok Sabha constituency. Opposition Telugu Desam, BJP and Congress demanded that the bypoll be cancelled forthwith, alleging that the ruling YSR Congress instigated bogus voting on a large scale, particularly in the temple town Tirupati.

Taking serious note of it, the Election Commission directed the collectors of Chittoor and SPS Nellore districts to crack down on the bogus voters and ensure fair poll.

State Director General of Police D G Sawang, however, claimed in a statement that the polling process was continuing in a 'peaceful atmosphere' and everybody was exercising their franchise 'fearlessly'.

Tirupati went to the bypoll due to the death of sitting YSRC MLA Balli Durga Prasad Rao last September.

In Karnataka, polling was held in Belgaum Lok Sabha seat and Basavakalyan and Maski assembly segments. While Belgaum recorded a turnout of 54.35 per cent, Basavakalyan and Maski segments saw 59.57 and 70.48 per cent polling respectively.

A total of 30 candidates are in the fray from all the three constituencies. Bypoll to Belgaum seat was necessitated following the death of Union minister Suresh Angadi.

A tentative 60 per cent voting was recorded in the by-election to Damoh assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh till 6 pm where the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress are locked in a straight contest. Damoh district returning officer Tarun Rathi said the polling percentage might go up to 70 or 75 per cent after factoring in the figures of the final polling, which ended at 7 pm. In Uttarakhand, a turnout of over 43 per cent was recorded in the bypoll to the Salt assembly seat in Almora. Except for a minor incident in which one person complained of another person disturbing the election process in the Majhor sector, polling went off peacefully, SSP Pankaj Bhatt said.

Nearly 70 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Mizoram for by-election to the Serchhip assembly seat, where six candidates, including those of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), ZPM and the Congress, are in fray.

Polling was also held for Sahara, Rajsamand and Sujangarh seats in Rajasthan; Pandharpur-Mangalvedha assembly constituency in Maharashtra's Solapur district; Morva Hadaf (ST) assembly seat of Gujarat's Panchmahal district; Nagarjuna Sagar seat in Telangana and Madhupur seat of Jharkhand.

A turnout of 42.60 per cent was recorded in Morva Hadaf, while in the three assembly constituencies of Rajasthan, it was about 61 per cent.

Counting for all the seats will be held on May 2. PTI TEAM ZMN