Polling for by-election to the Champawat assembly seat in Uttarakhand began on Tuesday morning. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who lost from Khatima in the state assembly polls held in February, is trying his luck from Champawat to become an MLA – a constitutional requirement he needs to fulfil within six months of being sworn in.
Former BJP MLA Kailash Gehtori had resigned from Champawat last month to make way for Dhami to contest from the seat. Dhami is locked in a straight contest with Congress’ Nirmala Gehtori in Champawat located in Kumaon region of the state.
Other candidates in the fray are Samajwadi Party’s Manoj Kumar Bhatt and Independent Himanshu Gadkoti. Dhami campaigned aggressively in Champawat along with Kailash Gehtori after filing his nominations on May 9 to seek votes, asking people to give him an opportunity to serve them.
Out of the 151 polling booths been set up, 18 are sensitive booths, said Narendra Singh Bhandari, district election officer. He added that the most remote polling booth in Champawat is the government primary school at Kotkendry, which is 17 kilometre away from a motorable road.
There are 96,213 voters in the Champawat constituency, including 50,171 men and 46,042 women.
BJP star campaigner and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also canvassed for Dhami in Tanakpur, asking people of the constituency not to waste the chance of electing a Chief Minister for their rapid development.
Other states in which by-polls are being held today are Odisha and Kerala. All arrangements have been made in Brajrajnagar assembly segment in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district. The by-election which was necessitated following the demise of BJD MLA Kishore Mohanty in December last year.
In Kerala’s Thrikkakara constituency, the three major political fronts — the LDF, the UDF and the NDA — in Kerala have expressed confidence in winning the seat for which the high-octane campaign had ended on Sunday.
With inputs from News18