45 per cent turnout in Simaria Assembly bypoll

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Chatra, Feb 4 (UNI) An estimated 45 per cent polling was today recorded in the by-election to Naxal-dominated Simaria Assembly seat in Jharkhand.

About 2.4 lakh electorate exercised franchise to decide the fate of 14 candidates.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of BJP's Upendra Nath Das. His son, given the party ticket to retain the seat, faces a stiff challenge from three other candidates - CPI, backed by the JMM and RJD, Congress and Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Democratic).

Polling began on a dull note as about six per cent turnout was recorded till 1000 hrs.

Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar Jha said there was no untoward incident during the poll.

Many people, mainly from the rural areas, had to face a lot of problems as they did not carryt required documents to support their identity leading to poor voting, a booth manager of a political party claimed.

Altogether 26 companies of para military forces were deployed and aerial vigil was made to ensure smooth polling. Besides, state police personnel were deployed in a large number.

About 95 per cent of total 226 polling centres were identified as sensitive.

Among prominent candiates were Kumar Ujjwal (BJP), Ramchandra Ram (CPI), Yogendra Baitha (Cong) and Jaiprakash Bhokta (JVM).

UNI PRS-AM SJC VD HS1825

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