Peaceful by-polls in 10 states with moderate to high balloting
Moderate to heavy turnout was reported in the biggest democratic exercise in India since the April-May general election as three parliamentary and 33 assembly constituencies spanning 10 states went for by-polls Saturday
New Delhi: Moderate to heavy turnout was reported in the biggest democratic exercise in India since the April-May general election as three parliamentary and 33 assembly constituencies spanning 10 states went for by-polls Saturday.
The elections - regarded as a test of popularity of the respective state governments as also of the Bharatiya Janata Party which held many of these seats - were generally peaceful.
However, one person died of a heart attack following a clash in Uttar Pradesh while a few other political workers sustained injuries in violence elsewhere.
The elections to the three Lok Sabha constituencies became necessary after three political stalwarts - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao - resigned from Vadodara (Gujarat), Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh) and Medak (Telangana) respectively.
Simultaneous by-polls were held to three assembly seats in Assam, nine in Gujarat, four in Rajasthan, 11 in Uttar Pradesh, two in West Bengal and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim and Tripura.
The biggest turnout - 88 percent - was recorded in the tiny northeastern state of Tripura where a by-election was held for the Manu assembly seat.
In the western state of Gujarat, voting was slow.
Modi vacated Vadodara after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from two places, including Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Residents of several colonies in Vadodara city, where flood waters created havoc three days ago, boycotted the voting as their demand of constructing roads was not met.
Over 53 percent voters cast their ballot in by-polls to one Lok Sabha and 11 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
At a polling booth in Saharanpur, supporters of the BJP and the Congress clashed during which a person suffered a heart attack and died.
Officials rushed to the spot, pacified the people and took the body for a post-mortem examination.
In another incident, BJP's ally Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel and Samajwadi Party supporters were engaged in a verbal spat at a polling booth in Rohania.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Saturday said his party will sweep the polls and will win the Mainpuri Lok Sabha and all the 11 assembly seats.
Mainpuri with 1,647,176 voters is crucial for the Samajwadi Party as the seat has been held by the party for over two decades.
In Rajasthan, by-polls to four assembly seats saw 65 percent of the voters take part.