Rajasthan bypolls: Around 61 pc voter turnout in 3 constituencies

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Jaipur, Apr 17 (PTI) About 61 per cent voter turnout was registered in the bypolls to three assembly constituencies in Rajasthan on Saturday, according to the State Election Commission.

Polling for the Sahara, Rajsamand and Sujangarh seats began at 7 am and the voting time was extended by two hours in view of the coronavirus.

Twenty-seven candidates are in the fray for the three constituencies which have 7,43,802 eligible voters.

According to a State Election Commission spokesperson, peaceful polling was conducted at all 1,145 polling stations of the three assemblies in compliance with the coronavirus guidelines.

Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta said according to preliminary information, the highest turnout was in Rajsamand Assembly where 67.18 per cent voters exercised their franchise. All three assembly constituencies registered 60.71 per cent voter turnout, he said in a statement.

He said 56.56 per cent voters cast their votes in Sahada Assembly constituency of Bhilwara, while in Sujangarh Assembly of Churu district, a total of 59.20 percent voted. Significantly, in the 2018 assembly general election, 73.56 per cent was recorded in Sahada, 70.68 in Sujangarh and 76.59 per cent in Rajsamand.

Gupta said in view of the pandemic, the voting time was extended by two hours.

He said in all the three assemblies, 904 voters had registered for casting their votes through postal ballot, out of which 895 voters exercised their franchise on Saturday.

He said 137 vehicles were pressed into service for the handicapped and elderly voters to take them home to the polling booths where scouts and guides helped them at polling stations.

The official said 925 wheelchairs were also arranged at selected polling stations to help the differently-abled.

Gupta said police teams seized liquor, cash, narcotic substance and other illegal material worth Rs 2.87 crore in these assembly constituencies.

He said drugs worth Rs 1.43 crore, illicit liquor worth Rs 27 lakh, Rs 25 lakh cash and other material worth Rs 90 lakh were seized.

The counting of votes will be held on May 2.

The bypolls were necessitated after the demise of sitting MLAs Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal (Sujangarh), Kailash Trivedi (Sahara) and Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand). PTI AG CK