Polling begins for Betul LS bypoll

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Bhopal, Apr 12 (UNI) Voting began for the Lok Sabha by-election in Betul constituency in Madhya Pradesh this morning amid tight security.

''A total of 10,96,418 voters, including 5,20,162 women, are expected to exercise their franchise in the bypoll for which voting is in progress in 1,219 polling centres, of which 331 are idenitified as sensitive,'' official sources said.

Eight battalions of Special Armed Force (SAF) and CRPF personnel each, besides more than 3,000 jawans had been deployed to ensure free and fair poll.

As many as 12 candidates are in fray for the bypoll, that was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Vijay Khandelwal.

Ruling BJP has fielded Mr Khandelwal's son Hemanth Khandelwal, while main opposition Congress has nominated Mr Sukheo Panse. Both are locked in a direct contest.

Issues like inflation and local problems including power crisis and unemployment were highlighted by political parties during campaigning.

UNI AG-PS GT RAI0953

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