Raipur, Feb 14 (IANS) Voting was underway Monday for Chhattisgarh’s Sanjari-Balod assembly by-election as voters, including women in large numbers, lined up outside polling centres in rural areas early morning.
Voting began at 8 a.m. amid tight security at all 187 polling booths with extra forces deployed at 27 sensitive and six hyper-sensitive booths. Initial reports coming in from the areas said that voting was peacefully underway.
A total of 168,870 people, included 83,425 women, are eligible to cast votes to decide the fate of 15 candidates though the main contest is between the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kumari Bai Sahu and Mohan Patel of the Congress.
The Congress had lost the Sanjari-Balod seat, which is part of Durg district, by just a few hundred votes in November 2008 to BJP’s Madanlal Sahu, who died following cardiac arrest in August last year. The BJP candidate Kumari Bai is the widow of Madanlal Sahu while Congress has again bet on Mohan Patel, who had almost pulled off victory in last poll.
The Sanjari-Balod seat is dominated by Other Backward Classes (OBC) and both the BJP and the Congress have fielded candidates from the OBC community.
The result will be announced Feb 17.