Rajasthan, West Bengal bypolls updates: Voting has begun for Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha constituencies of Rajasthan. Polling is also going on in Mandalgarh assembly constituency of Rajasthan and Uluberia Lok Sabha seat of West Bengal. The bypolls are crucial for both ruling BJP and Congress as the crucial assembly polls in the state will be held in 2018 ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It has been learnt that a total of 41 candidates are in fray. Over 38 lakh voters would decide the fate of these candidates. In the Alwar Lok Sabha constituency, a total of 1,987 polling booths have been set up, while in Ajmer Lok Sabha constituency, 1,925 booths have been set up for voters to exercise their franchise. In Mandalgarh assembly constituency, up to 282 booths have been set up for the voters. There are 18.27 lakh registered voters in Alwar, 18.42 lakh voters in Ajmer and 2.31 lakh voters in Mandalgarh. Eleven candidates are in the fray in Alwar, 23 in Ajmer and eight in Mandalgarh.
Track updates of Rajasthan bypolls
6: 14 pm: As per media reports, a technical error erupted in an EVM machine in village Kekadi due to which voting was stopped for sometime.
6: 02 pm: According to a PTI report, the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan witnessed over 37 per cent of voters exercising their franchise. The Alwar Lok Sabha by-poll recorded 37.16 per cent voting while the Ajmer Lok Sabha by-poll recorded 36.54 per cent voting. The Mandalgarh Assembly constitution registered 45.08 per cent voting.
5: 33 pm: A group of voters in Manda village boycotted AjmerByPolls, said, ‘voting will not take place in the village until our issues related to water & roadways are resolved’, as per ANI.
5: 16 pm: In Noapara, the TMC has fielded Sunil Singh, the CPI(M) Gargi Chatterjee. Goutam Bose of the Congress and Sandip Banerjee of the BJP are the other contestants from the seat.
4: 58 pm: Villagers in Manda in Ajmer district boycott polls over lack of development work, as per media reports.
4: 35 pm: Congress workers clash with Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani at a polling booth in Ajmer, as per media reports.
4: 15 pm: A groom came to cast his vote in Ajmer Bypolls; said, ‘voting is my fundamental right & I wanted to exercise it on my wedding day’. See Pic
3: 42 pm: 61.75 per cent voting turnout recorded till 3 pm in Mandalgarh, Rajasthan assembly seat by-poll, ANI reported.
3: 25 pm: Polling percentage till 1 pm in Ajmer, Rajasthan was recorded to be 44 per cent, as per ANI.
2: 41 pm: Uluberia and Noapara registered 15 per cent and 17.5 per cent polling respectively in the first two hours.
2: 12 pm: An average voting turnout of 5.35 per cent was recorded in the first two hours of voting in Rajasthan Bypolls. Alwar recorded 5.42 per cent voter turnout and Ajmer recorded 5.25 per cent voting while the voter turnout in Mandalgarh Assembly constituency was 6.42 per cent, according to the office of the chief electoral officer.
1: 58 pm: The TMC, which had been in power in the Uluberia seat since 2009, has fielded Sultan Ahmed’s wife Sajda this time. The CPM-led Left Front had nominated Sabiruddin Molla whereas the Congress has fielded S K Madassar Hossain Warsi. The BJP is the only party to field Hindu candidate Anupam Mallik from the seat. Five other independents are also in the fray from the Lok Sabha constituency.
1: 17 pm: In Rajasthan, the bypolls are not only a test for chief minister Raje but also for Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, who has been campaigning aggressively in Alwar and Ajmer.
12: 57 pm: In West Bengal, the fight for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly seat is expected to be a straight contest between the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and the BJP, which has been struggling to find a foothold in Mamata’s bastion.
12: 35 pm: Counting for all the five seats in Rajasthan and West Bengal is slated to take place on February 1.
12: 15 pm: The Election Commission informed that 35 companies of central police forces will be deployed to ensure free and fair elections in both the seats of Rajasthan.
11: 45 am: Uluberia is one of the Lok Sabha seats in the state with nearly 40 per cent Muslim population.
11: 25 am: In Ajmer, 6,000 security personnel have been sent to ensure smooth polling. 5,000 security personnel have been sent to Alwar.
11: 10 am: Former MoS for Youth Affairs and Sports Jitendra Singh cast his vote at a voting center in Alwar’s Moti Dungri.
10:56 am: In Rajasthan, the BJP has fielded Labour Minister Jaswant Singh Yadav and former Union minister Sanwar Lal Jat’s son Ramswaroop Lamba for the Alwar and the Ajmer Lok Sabha seats, respectively, while Shakti Singh Hada is contesting the bypoll as BJP’s candidate from the Mandalgarh Assembly constituency in Bhilwara district.
10.45 am: For the first time, photos of candidates are being placed on EVM machines to avoid confusion among voters about different candidates with same names.
9:45 am: BJP’s Ramswarup Lamba is contesting from Ajmer and is up against Congress’ Raghu Sharma. Lamba is the son of deceased MP Sanwar Lal Jat, and it was upon his death, the Ajmer seat fell vacant in August last year.
— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2018
9:30 am: Meanwhile in West Bengal, voting for Uluberia Lok Sabha seat by-poll has begun. It has been learnt that polling temporarily stopped at Booth no. 231 after the voting machine stopped functioning.
9:20 am: Voting for Ajmer Lok Sabha seat by-poll begins; BJP’s Bhupender Yadav casts his vote at a voting centre in Kundan Nagar
9:12 am: Voting for Alwar Lok Sabha seat by-poll begins; Visuals from a polling booth in Subhash Nagar