Voters from 2 villages boycott by-poll in MP

9 Nov 2017

Peeved at poor infrastructure in their areas, voters from two villages in Madhya Pradesh's Chitrakoot Assembly constituency boycotted the by-election being held today.

The residents of Bairhana and Bichhian villages had earlier warned the Satna district authorities that they will boycott the by-election, if proper roads and buildings were not built in their areas. The villagers are boycotting the by-poll to press for their demands of construction of roads, school and other developmental works, Madhya Pradesh's chief electoral officer Salina Singh told reporters in Bhopal. Election officials are requesting the electorate in these villages to participate in the polling, she said.

Polling is underway in the Chitrakoot Assembly seat where about 33.8 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 1 pm, an official of the Election Commission said. The voting started in the constituency at 8 am. Congress candidate Nilanshu Chaturvedi, BJP's nominee Shankar Dayal Tripathi and 10 others are in fray for the by-election in the Assembly segment, which lies bordering Uttar Pradesh. The BSP has not fielded its candidate in the by-poll. The by-election was necessitated following the death of Congress MLA Prem Singh (65) after a prolonged illness in May this year.

He had won the Chitrakoot seat thrice -- in 1998, 2003 and 2013. There are 1.98 lakh voters in the Chitrakoot Assembly constituency, an EC official earlier said. As many as 257 polling booths with VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines were set up for the by-poll, he said. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and MP BJP chief Nandkumar Chouhan had campaigned for the party's candidate. Besides, Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Union minister Kamal Nath, Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh tried to drum up support for their party's nominee.