Jaipur, April 9 (IANS) Around 50 per cent polling was registered till afternoon across 231 polling stations for the Dholpur Assembly by-polls in Rajasthan on Sunday.
Enthusiasm among voters was high and since early morning voters were seen queuing up in front of polling booths. Young and first time voters were particularly excited to cast their votes.
The voting which started at 7 a.m. will continue till 6 p.m.
Security was tight and 67 polling stations have been identified as critical where extra security arrangements have been made.
“Polling is going on peacefully,” said a district administration official.
There were some issues of EVMs not working properly but it was rectified soon.
By-poll for the Dholpur Assembly seat was necessitated after BSP legislator Banwari Lal Kushavah was disqualified as he was convicted in a murder case last year.
The counting will take place on April 13 when the fate of 15 candidates will be decided.
The main contest is between BJP’s Shobha Rani Kushavah, wife of the convicted BSP leader, and Congress party’s Banwari Lal Sharma, a former minister.
Of the over 1.91 lakh voters, 90,000 are female.
The by-election is a prestige issue for both the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and it can be gauged from the fact that Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje herself, state president of the BJP Ashok Parnami and her cabinet colleagues, have spent days in the constituency to woo voters.
Similar was the case with the Congress whose senior leaders, including state president Sachin Pilot, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and leader of opposition in the state assembly Rameshwar Dudi, campaigned extensively in the constituency to garner votes for their candidate.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress suffered one of its worst defeats in the history of the state, winning only 21 of the 200 assembly seats. The BJP swept the polls, winning 163 seats.
The BJP presently has a strength of 160 and Congress 24 in the House.