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Record 78 per cent polling in Kota bypoll

Written by: Staff
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Kota, Bilaspur, Dec 5 (UNI) A record 78.14 per cent of the 1.46 lakh electorate exercised their franchise yesterday in the assembly by-election in Kota constitituency in Chhattisgarh.

Official sources said this was the first time that such heavy turnout was witnessed in the rural constituency, which the Congress had been winning since 1952.

By-poll for this seat had become prestigious for both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress after former chief minister Ajit Jogi secured Congress ticket for his wife Dr Renu to take on Mr Bhupendra Singh Thakur (BJP) in a 23-corner contest.

The BJP had mobilised all resources at its command to wrest the seat from the CoCongress, deploying nearly a dozen ministers and scores of other party workers to canvass support to the party candidate. Besides, the party also hired a helicopter so as to enable chief minister Dr Raman Singh to address more than two dozen election meetings in the rural constituency.

While BJP workers from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh also joined in the electioneering in Kota, the Congress campaign was led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi, who was restrained to a wheel chair ever since he had sustained serious injuries in a road accident nearly two and a half years ago.

About 30 Congress legislators and party functionaries canvassed support for Mrs Jogi during the poll campaign.

UNI XC JJ SP 1141

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