Voting for the keenly contested bypoll for the Bhoranj Assembly constituency will begin at 8 am on Sunday, with the Election Commission having introduced Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) on a pilot basis. “VVPAT or verifiable paper record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot-less voting system. VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly,” said State’s Chief Electoral officer Narinder Chauhan.
Chauhan, who visited the constituency two days back, said all arrangements had been made for free, fair and smooth polling in the constituency where all polling booths are located in rural areas.
The constituency has a total of 75,719 registered voters, 38,205 of them females and 37,514 males.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of BJP veteran Ishwar Dass Dhiman, a former education minister. The saffron party has now fielded his son Dr Anil Dhiman, who is pitted against Promila Devi of Congress, a Dalit, and three other candidates.
For the BJP, the bypoll holds a greater significance. For the party, it’s not only about retaining the seat which late Ishwar Dass Dhiman had won six times consecutively, but also to signal changing fortunes of the party after its victory in UP and Uttarakhand, besides formation of BJP governments in Goa and Manipur after recent polls.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has already addressed a number of poll rallies in the constituency and highlighted his government’s achievements.
Similarly, former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal of BJP and other party leaders have also held a number of meetings in the constituency.