By-elections 2018 highlights: The bypoll to four Lok Sabha constituencies and 10 assembly seats have begun. The Lok Sabha constituencies are Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and the sole parliamentary constituency in Nagaland. The Assembly bypolls will take place in Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Shahkot (Punjab), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Chengannur (Kerala), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra), Ampati (Meghalaya), Tharali (Uttarakhand) and Maheshtala (West Bengal). Counting for all the seats will be held on May 31, 2018. The bypolls are believed to be the litmus test for BJP ahead of next general election.
Apart from these, the election to one seat of Karnataka- Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency will also be held today. The counting of votes will take place on May 31, 2018. Elaborate security arrangement is in place. Security in and around the polling booths has been tightened. Polling in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency was postponed following the inquiry into the seizure of more than 9,000 voter identity cards and other articles from an apartment in Bengaluru.
Track highlights of By-elections 2018
12:20 PM: News are coming from Punjab that 31 per cent voting recorded till 11 am in Shahkot assembly by-election.
12:15 PM: RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan alleged that “I have been continuously receiving complaints. They didn’t expect so many people to come out to vote in Ramzan. Initial strategy was to hold elections in Ramzan so that people won’t vote.”
11:45 AM: RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan for Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll has written to the Election Commission over alleged faulty EVMs and VVPATs in around 175 polling booths across Shamli, Kairana and Noorpur in Uttar Pradesh.
11:40 AM: In Karnataka, 21 per cent polling recorded till 11 am in RR Nagar Assembly election.
10:55 AM: According to reports, Karnataka’s RR Nagar constituency witnessed a voter turnout of 11 percent till 9 a.m. Notably, the polling in Karnataka’s RR Nagar assembly constituency was postponed in light of the alleged fake voter ID scam.
10:50 AM: Samajwadi Party leader Rajendra Chaudhary alleged that there are reports that in Noorpur 140 EVMs are faulty, which is because they’ve been tampered. “There are similar reports from Kairana. They (BJP) want to avenge defeat in Phulpur and Gorakhpur, which is why they want to defeat us at any cost,” he said.
10:40 AM: Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate for Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll Tabassum Hasan raised EVM-tampering issue, “machines are being tampered everywhere, faulty machines haven’t been replaced in Muslim&Dalit dominated areas. They (BJP) think they can win polls like this.That won’t happen.”
10:35 AM: Instead of index fingers, middle fingers of some voters are being inked by officials to differentiate between them during Palghar Lok Sabha by-poll as Panchayat elections were held in some parts of Maharashtra.
10:30 am: It has been learnt that 6% voting recorded till 9 am in Noorpur assembly by-election. In Kairana Lok Sabha by-election, 10.20% voting was recorded till 9 am.
10:15 AM: Updates on Shahkot assembly by-election in Punjab: One Control Unit at 216 booth number and three VVPAT machines at booth numbers 169, 170 and 222 replaced during mock poll due to technical snag. Four VVPATs at booth numbers 27, 28, 132 and 45 replaced during actual polling
10:10 AM: News are coming from Maharashtra’s Gondiya and Bhandara Lok Sabha constituencies that 11 faulty EVMs have been reported across polling booths.
9:30 AM: Polling is going on in Nagaland. People were seen exercising franchise in Dimapur. InMeghalaya, voting is underway for Ampati assembly constituency.
8:55 AM: Electorates were seen queuing at a polling booth in Shamli
8:45 AM: Polling has begun underway at a polling station for Bhandara Lok Sabha by-poll seat in Maharashtra.
8:40 AM: Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat have performed Ganga aarti in Haridwar.
8:30 AM: News are coming from Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana. Polling has been stalled at Public Inter College in Kairana due to faulty VVPAT.
7:30 AM: People queue outside a polling booth in Silli in Jharkhand where voting for assembly by-poll has begun
7:25 AM: Left Democratic Front (LDF) Saji Cherian candidate for Chengannur assembly by-poll has arrived at SNDP Lower Primary School polling station in Kozhuvalloor village to cast his vote.
7:20 AM: News are coming from across the country. It has been learnt that People were seen standing in a queue outside a polling station in Shahkot where voting for Assembly by-poll has begun. In Kerala, people have started forming queue outside SNDP Lower Primary School at Kozhuvalloor village as voting for Chengannur assembly by-poll has begun. In Karnataka, polling is underway for Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwarinagar legislative assembly seat.
7:15 AM: Voting for Maheshtala assembly by-poll in West Bengal has begun. People were seen queueing outside Polling booth number 32 in South 24 Parganas.
7:10 AM: Voting has begun for Kairana Lok Sabha by poll this morning ; In this key constituency, BJP MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh is fighting against Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Tabassum Hasan. Hasan’s candidature is being supported by Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.