Voting on two Assembly and three parliamentary bypoll seats in Rajasthan and West Bengal began today, the results of whom will be declared on February 1.
In Rajasthan, the bypolls are being held in Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary constituencies and Mandalgarh assembly constituency.
Meanwhile, West Bengal’s Uluberia parliamentary and Noapara assembly constituencies are also going to polls today.
Here are the LIVE updates:
06:22 pm: Polling concludes for Ajmer bypolls, 65.33 per cent voting turnout recorded
05:00 pm: Around 40 per cent voting was recorded till late afternoon in the bypolls in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Alwar and Ajmer, and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan on Monday.
04:00 pm: According to information, a technical error erupted in an EVM machine in village Kekadi due to which voting was stopped for sometime.
03:30 pm: In Keladi's Manda village, villagers boycotted elections and hence polling booths remained vacant. The villagers were protesting as they have not been getting adequate water supply. Also their village roads lie in pathetic conditions due to which they decided to shun elections
03:20 pm: 61.75 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in Mandalgarh assembly seat bypoll in Rajasthan
03:20 pm: 50 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in Alwar bypoll
02:33 pm: Voting picked up by noon in Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan with over 37 per cent of voters exercising their franchise in the by-elections that are underway.
02:32 pm: Alwar Lok Sabha recorded 37.16 per cent voting, Ajmer Lok Sabha recorded 36.54 per cent voting while the voter turnout in Mandalgarh Assembly constituency was 45.08 per cent, according to the office of the chief electoral officer.
02:30 pm: Voting for the Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara assembly bypolls began at 7am today and the two constituencies registered 15 per cent and 17.5 per cent polling respectively in the first two hours.
Rajasthan: Voting for Ajmer Lok Sabha seat by-poll begins; BJP's Bhupender Yadav casts his vote at a voting centre in Kundan Nagar pic.twitter.com/AOMmDzSIfA— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2018
Rajasthan: Voting for Alwar Lok Sabha seat by-poll begins; Visuals from a polling booth in Subhash Nagar pic.twitter.com/ehChdq4e1o— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2018
08:04 am: Voting for Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seat by-poll and Mandalgarh assembly seat by-poll begins
08:02 am: Voting for Uluberia Lok Sabha seat by-poll: Voting temporarily stopped at Booth no. 231 after the voting machine stopped functioning
Bypolls to Lok Sabha seats of Alwar and Ajmer in Rajasthan and Uluberia in West Bengal, and bypoll to assembly seat of Mandalgarh in Rajasthan to take place today. pic.twitter.com/jdvAhzB3md— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2018
07:35 am: In Rajasthan, security has been beefed up to ensure free and fair elections, said state chief election officer Ashvini Bhagat, adding that arrangements for videography, photography and webcasting at sensitive polling booths have also been made.
07:30 am: A total of 1,987 polling booths have been set up in the Alwar Lok Sabha constituency, 1,925 booths in Ajmer Lok Sabh constituency and 282 booths in Mandgarh assembly constituency.
07:28 am: In a first, EVM machines with photos of candidates on them would be used for polling, which would take place from 8am to 6pm.
The battle for Lok Sabha seats of Alwar and Ajmer along with the Assembly seat of Mandalgarh is crucial for ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as it is facing anti-incumbency, especially fuelled by dissent by Rajput communities over the release of the controversial film Padmaavat.
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.
The Congress named Vivek Dhakad as its candidate for the Mandalgarh Assembly constituency, former MLA Raghu Sharma for the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat and Karan Singh Yadav for the Alwar Lok Sabha constituency.
Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats, and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat fell vacantdue to the deaths of Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat, Alwar MP Chand Nath and Mandalgarh MLA Kirti Kumari (all of the BJP) last year.
Meanwhile, Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency and Noapara Assembly seat in West Bengal are likely to witness a direct contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP, even as the CPI(M) is trying hard to hold its ground in its erstwhile bastions.
The elections were necessitated following the deaths of Sultan Ahmed, the sitting TMC MP from Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in Howrah district, and Madhusudan Ghose, Congress MLA from Noapara assembly seat in North 24 Parganas district.