Moderate to high voter turnout was witnessed during by-elections for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, and six assembly seats in five states, which were held on Monday along with the second phase of assembly election in Gujarat. The assembly seats were Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar, and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh.
Except for Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, where only about 31% of voters cast ballots, by-elections for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and six assembly seats saw moderate to high voter turnouts.
The turnout was 80 per cent in Padampur in Odisha, nearly 70 per cent in Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, 64.86 per cent in Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh and around 58 per cent in Kurhani in Bihar. No major untoward incident was reported.
Mainpuri parliamentary constituency, which fell vacant after the death of Mamajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, registered 53.31 turnout while Khatauli assembly segment in Muzaffarnagar recorded 56.46 per cent polling, according to the Election Commission app.
In Mainpuri, Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav is pitted against BJP's Raghuraj Singh Shakya, once a close associate of Shivpal Singh Yadav. It had recorded a turnout of 56.61 per cent in the 2019 polls.
The son of former party legislator Shiv Bahadur Saxena, Akash Saxena, is running against Azam Khan's henchman Asim Raja in the Rampur Sadar assembly district. In the early-year assembly election, it had earned 56.61 per cent of the vote, but on Monday, it was only 31.22 per cent.
In Khatauli, the main fight is between Vikram Singh Saini's wife Rajkumari Saini and Madan Bhaiya of the Rashtriya Lok Dal. It has seen a turnout of 68.88 per cent in the last assembly polls. After Congress MLA Manoj Singh Mandavi passed away last month, the Bhanupratappur seat was expected to see a direct election between the BJP and the Congress. In an effort to hold onto the seat, the Congress fielded Savitri Mandavi, the deceased MLA's wife, while the BJP did so with a former MLA. In the Maoist-affected Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, where voting started at 7 am amid high security, 64.86% of eligible voters participated.
According to an official, 69.91 per cent voting was recorded by 5.30 pm at Sardarshahar seat in Rajasthan's Churu district. The Congress has fielded Sharma's son Anil Kumar, while the BJP has nominated former MLA Ashok Kumar.
Nearly 80% exercised their franchise in Odisha's Padampur assembly constituency, an Election Commission official said. “There was no report of any untoward incident in the entire Padampur assembly constituency during the voting process,” Odisha's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S K Lohani said.
In Bihar's Kurhani, the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani prompted the polls and around 58 per cent voting turnout is registered in Kurhani (Bihar).