20 percent turnout till mid-day in assembly by-elections

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New Delhi, Nov. 7 (ANI): Almost 20 per cent polling was recorded by mid-day for the assembly by-elections in seven states.

Thirty-one constituencies in the States of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Chattisgarh are undergoing polls today.

So far, the polling has been peaceful as security forces and para military personnel are keeping a strict vigil in the poll-bound constituencies.

In Firozabad Lok Sabha seat, where Congress candidate Raj Babbar is pitted against Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Dimple, 18 per cent polling was registered whereas in 11 Assembly seats in the state, the turnout was just 15 per cent.

According to West Bengal chief election officer Debasish Sen, a turnout of 23 per cent was recorded in the by-elections to ten assembly seats.

By-elections to nine seats are being held as MLAs from these seats have been elected as members of Parliament in the last Lok Sabha elections, while in one seat, it is due to the death of state's former transport minister Subhas Chakraborty.

The West Bengal by-elections are being viewed as a dress rehersal for the 2010 Assembly polls in the state.

Over 15 per cent voters turned up in the initial hours in the bypolls in Kannur, Ernakulam and Alappuzha Assembly constituencies in Kerala, another Left-ruled state.

In Rohroo and Jawali assembly seats of Himachal Pradesh, about 15 per cent polling was recorded. Bypoll in the two assembly seats is taking place due to resignation of Union Steel minister Virbhadra Singh and BJP MP from Kangra Rajan Sushant respectively.

Voting in bypoll to Vaishali Nagar Assembly seat in Durg district of Chhattisgarh was held under tight security.

In Rajasthan, over 10 per cent voters cast their votes in Salumber and Todabheem assembly constituencies. The outcome of the polls is being considered crucial for measuring the popularity of the Ashok Gehlot government and determining the stance of Gujjars after the Rajasthan High Court's recent stay on reservation granted to them.

Voting was also in progress in two seats in Assam. (ANI)

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