A voter turnout of over 67.96 per cent was recorded till 5 pm on Monday in the Ramgarh assembly constituency bypoll in Jharkhand, with the polling process being "peaceful", an Election Commission official said.
Polling for the by-election began at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and it concluded at 5 pm. However, voters' queue was witnessed in many booths even till 5.30 pm, the official said.
Ramgarh deputy commissioner (DC) Madhvi Mishra told PTI that 67.96 per cent of 3.34 lakh electors exercised their franchise in the Ramgarh assembly seat.
"Voting passed off peacefully. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency," Mishra said.
Though 18 candidates, including 14 Independents, were in the fray, the contest would be mainly between the Congress, an ally of the ruling JMM-led coalition, and the AJSU Party, which has tied up with the BJP for the bypoll.
The by-election was necessitated after the disqualification of Congress legislator Mamta Devi, following her conviction in a criminal case.
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The Congress has fielded Mamta Devi's husband, Bajrang Mahto, from the seat while the AJSU Party has nominated its leader Sunita Choudhary.
Choudhary told PTI, I am confident of winning the by-poll. The people of Ramgarh wanted a change, as they were not happy with the performance of the ruling UPA government in the state for the past three years. I would like to extend my thanks to the people of Ramgarh.
Congress candidate Bajrang Mahto also claimed that he would emerge victorious.
The people of Ramgarh voted for the Congress party in the bypoll, he told media persons.
Earlier in the day, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in a Twitter post said, "People of Ramgarh are participating in polls to strengthen democracy and defeat money power in the elections. They are fighting for their rights. I appeal to voters to come forward to exercise their democratic right."
AJSU Party Chief Sudesh Mahto urged electors to cast their votes in the interest of the state.
BJP senior leader Babulal Marandi, in a tweet, said, "There is an opportunity for voters of Ramgarh to strengthen democracy by exercising their right to franchise.
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