Bye-Election 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Held under the shadow of the second phase of Bihar elections, the bye-elections to 56 other Assembly seats in 11 states saw a healthy voter turnout despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with reports of violence at two places in Madhya Pradesh and allegations of “fake voting” emanating from Uttar Pradesh. These elections are politically significant for both the ruling BJP as well as the Opposition parties, and are being seen by many as a litmus test for public approval of the record of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its second term.
Amid reports of violence at a few places, an estimated 66.28 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 6 pm on Tuesday in the crucial bypolls to 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, an official said. One person was injured in stray incidents of violence, police said. The average voting percentage in the 2018 assembly. polls in these 28 constituencies, most of them in the Gwalior-Chambal region, was 72.93, the official told PTI.
Voters turnout for the Uttar Pradesh assembly byelections for seven seats crossed 51 per cent at 5 pm on Tuesday, an hour before the slated end of polling. The polling for the seven seats with 88 candidates in the fray, which began at 7 am amid tight security and adherence to anti-COVID precautions, picked up momentum as the day progressed. The voters turnout went up to 51.22 per cent by 5 pm from just 18.49 per cent at 11 am, the Election Commission said.
In Gujarat’s Karjan Assembly Constituency in Vadodara, the Returning Officer has set up an inquiry after Congress candidate Kiritsinh Jadeja accused rival Bhartiya Janta Party candidate Akshay Patel of distributing cash for votes. The complaint, filed by Jadeja’s election agent Upendrasinh Rana, includes two videos purportedly showing ‘BJP workers’ distributing cash to voters ahead of the polling.