By elections 2018 updates: 55% voting recorded in Bihar's Jokihat; officials say polling took place peacefully
By-elections 2018 latest updates: A high turnout was recorded in bypolls to Jharkhand's Silli and Gomia Assembly constituencies, officials said. According to Chief Electoral Officer L Khiyante, Silli saw 75 percent voting and Gomia 62 percent.
BJP's Kairana candidate Mriganka Singh alleged technical snag in EVMs and said that the party has approached the Election Commission regarding the same.
The Election Commission termed as "exaggerated projection of reality" reports of 'large-scale' failure of EVMs during Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The poll panel also rejected reports that polling was cancelled in 35 booths in Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Maharashtra.
However, the Shiv Sena and the NCP alleged malfunctioning in EVMs during bypo lls for Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra. Former Union minister Praful Patel claimed that almost 25 percent of EVMs malfunctioned in the bypoll to Bhandara-Gondiya seat, while Sena leader Sanjay Raut said those in power were contesting elections while keeping the "key and remote of EVMs in their hands".
Patel also sought to know why EVMs from Surat in Gujarat were used in the bypoll when similar machines were available in Maharashtra.
Till 1 pm, the Election Commission registered 63.35 percent polling in Meghalaya's Ampati Assembly constituency and 44 percent in Shahkot constituency in Punjab. In Jharkhand, Gomia witnessed a turnout of 51 percent till 1 pm.
According to ANI, voting has been temporarily suspended at 35 polling stations in Bhandara-Gondiya after EVM malfunctioning was reported, said Abhimanyu Kale, District Magistrate. Meanwhile, polling was stopped at booth no. 216 and 217 in Shamli district's Bhabhisa vill age after it was reported that EVMs were not working since 10 am, as per News18.
According to the Election Commission, poll turnout in Lok Sabha seat of Kairana was 22 percent till 11 am and in Noorpur it was 21.34 percent. Faulty EVMs in several seats, including Kairana and Noorpur and several other seats in Maharashtra and Bihar. Polling has been cancelled at 35 booths in Maharashtraâs Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat following EVM malfunctions.
As many as 34 villages that house 50,000 voters in the constituency are boycotting the by-elections, alleging their demands against the Gosikhurd irrigation project havenât been met. In Uttar Pradeshâs Kairana, joint SP-RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan has submitted a complaint on EVM glitches and alleged malpractices by the BJP to the Election Commission. Voting is currently underway in four Lok Sabha seats and 10 Assembly constituencies across 10 states.
EVM glitches have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Maha rashtra and Kerala amid voting for crucial by-elections. At least, 11 EVM malfunction have been reported in Maharashtra's Gondia-Bhandara constituency. In Bhandara-Gondia, the BJP and the NCP have locked horns in the bypoll, being held after the resignation of BJP MP Nana Patole. Patole, a leader of the powerful OBC Kunbi community, had switched side from the Congress to the BJP and was elected as an MP from the constituency in Vidarbha in 2014 by defeating former union minister and NCP heavyweight Praful Patel. The NCP, which has allied with the Congress, has fielded former BJP MLA Madhukar Kukde, against BJP's Hemant Patle, who belongs to the Powar community and is also a former legislator.
Voting was stalled in multiple booths in West Bengal's Maheshtala and Uttar Pradesh's Kairana constituency due to faulty VVPATs and EVMs. Problems with EVM machines in Nungi High School and in Netaji Subhash School in the Maheshtala by-elections forced voting to be pa used. Voters were reportedly losing their patience in Nungi.
Voting at three polling stations in Uttar Pradesh's Kairana could not be started yet due to the unavailability of EVM machines. Voters, in large numbers, have been waiting for it in the queue. Meanwhile, voting is also underway in Gomia, Shahkot, Chengannur and Palghar.
Voting has begun in Uttar Pradesh's Kairana Lok Sabha seat, Noorpur Assembly seat and West Bengal's Maheshtala Assembly constituency. As per EC, 12 contestants are in fray for the Kairana Lok Sabha bypolls out of which three are women while 10 persons are contesting in the Noorpur Assembly bypolls. Two contestants are women. The Election Commission said that they have deployed 53 companies of paramilitary forces, 10 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in Kairana and Noorpur. The two seats in Uttar Pradesh are important as BJP had lost two prestigious Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh' ;s Gorakhpur and Phulpur in March.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress will get another chance to do battle, along with other national and regional parties as bypolls to 10 Assembly constituencies and four Lok Sabha seats across 10 states are set to take place on Monday. Apart from Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, parliamentary bypolls will be held on Monday for Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and to the Nagaland seat.
The seats where Assembly bypolls will be held are Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Shahkot (Punjab), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Chengannur (Kerala), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra), Ampati (Meghalaya), Tharali (Uttarakhand) and Maheshtala (West Bengal). Votes will be counted on 31 May.
Kairana constituency in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh has gained prominence in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Kairana bypoll will also see a joint Opposition taking on the ruling BJP . Located around 630 kilometres from capital city of Lucknow, the Lok Sabha constituency has five Assembly segments: Shamli, Thana Bhawan and Kairana in Shamli district, and Gangoh and Nakur in Saharanpur district. There are nearly 17 lakh voters in the constituency with a significant number of Muslims, Jats and Dalit voters.
RLD party worker Abdul Hakeem Khan said he had never seen an election in which the ruling party was being challenged by a joint Opposition. The constituency fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh, whose daughter Mriganka Singh is now the party's candidate for the bypoll. She is fighting Rashtriya Lok Dal's (RLD) Tabassum Hasan, who is supported by the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
The Opposition hopes that by consolidating anti-BJP votes, they will repeat the success of the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections, where the ruling party suffered an unexpected defeat.
In Maharashtra, by-election to B handara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat was necessitated when in early December 2017, sitting member Nana Patole quit the BJP and the Lok Sabha seat to join the Congress. The Palghar seat in north Konkan fell vacant after the sitting BJP MP Chintaman Vanga died on 30 January following a heart attack.
In Punjab, polling to the Shahkot bypoll, for which the three major political parties-Congress, Akali Dal and AAP have went all out, will take place on Monday. The Shahkot bypoll was necessitated following the demise of Akali MLA Ajit Singh Kohar in February. Ruling party Congress has fielded Hardev Singh Laddi while Akali Dal has given ticket to Kohar's son Naib Singh Kohar. Aam Aadmi Party has nominated Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan for the bypoll.
As many as 1,72,676 voters will decide the fate of 12 candidates who are in the fray. The Election Commission has deployed a total of 1,022 personnel of security forces including six companies of the Border Security Force in Shahkot.< /p>
Meanwhile, in the eastern region, the stage is set for the bypoll to one Lok Sabha and five Assembly seats in as many states. The five seats where Assembly bypolls will be held are Maheshtala in West Bengal, Gomia and Silli in Jharkhand, Jokihat in Bihar and Ampati in Meghalaya. The by-election will also be held in the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat which was necessitated after the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio, now the chief minister of Nagaland, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February. It will be a test of strength between the candidate of the Naga People's Front (NPF) supported by Congress and the nominee of the ruling People's Democratic Alliance (PDA).
The PDA, which has the NDPP and the BJP as it major constituents, has fielded former minister Tokheho Yepthomi in the seat. The Congress has extended support to NPF candidate C Apok Jamir.
The BJP, which had won an absolute majority in the 2014 general elections with 282 seats, lost seven seats in Lok Sabha by-elections held in the past four years and its present tally is 274. The Election Commission said that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPATs will be deployed in the by-elections at all polling stations.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 28, 2018 19:46 PMSource: Google News