C'garh: Counting of votes for Marwahi bypoll on Tuesday

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Raipur, Nov 9 (PTI) Counting of votes for the bypoll to Chhattisgarh's Marwahi Assembly seat, which was a bastion of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, will be held on Tuesday.

The vote count will begin at 8 am at the Government Gurukul Vidyalaya, Gaurela, where security has been stepped up, a district poll official said.

The by-election in Marwahi was necessitated due to the death of sitting Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) MLA and former CM Ajit Jogi in May this year.

The ruling Congress and main opposition BJP in the state are locked in a direct fight in Marwahi, which comes under the newly formed Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district.

Ahead of the November 3 bypoll, the nomination papers of JCC(J) leader Amit Jogi, the son of Ajit Jogi, and his wife Richa were rejected by the returning officer, who said their caste certificates were invalid.

Eight candidates contested the bypoll in Marwahi, but the main fight is between Congress's Dr K K Dhruw and BJP candidate Dr Gambheer Singh.

The seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes candidates, recorded 77.89 per cent turnout during polling on November 3.

On Tuesday, postal ballots will be taken up for counting first followed by votes cast in the EVMs, the official said.

After the completion of counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines, matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs at any five polling booths will be carried out, he said.

The voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) provides a feedback on paper to the electorate about whom they have voted using the ballot-less voting system.

In the 2018 Assembly poll in Marwahi, Ajit Jogi got 74,041 votes. He defeated BJP's Archana Porte by a margin of 46,462 votes, while the Congress stood third.

In the 90-member state Assembly, the Congress has 69 seats, BJP-14, JCC(J)-four and BSP-two seats. PTI TKP GK GK