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Tehri bypoll: U'khand CM confident of son's victory

October 10, 2012 13:33 IST

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Tuesday expressed confidence that his son and Congress nominee Saket Bahuguna will emerge victorious from the Tehri Lok Sabha seat.

Bahuguna appealed to the voters Tehri Lok Sabha seat to cast their votes and make the Congress Party victorious in the same manner as they have showered their blessings on him so far.

"The weather is clear and the voting percentage would increase later in the day. The voters would cast their votes keeping in their minds the development done so far in this region. We have done our work and we trust the public," he added.

The stage is set for a close contest between scions of two powerful political families today, as Vijay Bahuguna's son Saket locks horns with Bharatiya Janata Party's Mala Raj Laxmi Shah, a member of the erstwhile Tehri royal family.

Voting is presently underway in his high-profile Lok Sabha seat. Men and women have turned in large numbers to exercise their voting franchise at the polling booths spread over the three districts of Dehradun, Tehri and Uttarkashi.

A total of 11,85,606 voters including 5,63,845 women will decide the fate of 14 candidates in the fray for the by poll. 2011 polling booths have been set up out of which 334 have been identified as hyper sensitive and 311 as sensitive taking note of which elaborate security arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident.

The by poll was necessitated after Chief Minister Bahuguna resigned from the seat following his victory from Sitarganj Assembly constituency.

Both the Congress and the BJP looks forward to a victory here for they have put in maximum efforts during the last 15 days to maximise their chances.

Meanwhile, in West Bengal's  Jangipur by-election, 21 per cent votes were cast till 11 am in the by-election to the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency where President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee is a contestant.

Voters in 12 booths under Shruti and Khargram blocks boycotted poll to protest against some local grievances including bad roads and no electricity.

The sub-divisional officer of Murshidabad district and other high officials have gone to the booths to convince voters to exercise their franchise.

A few EVMs malfunctioned in some booths in the morning, delaying the start of polling but were repaired soon to enable its resumption.

The district magistrate, Rajiv Kumar, said the long border with Bangladesh in the district had been sealed. Ten companies of central forces are manning the sensitive areas.

There is an electorate of 12,40,000 in the Lok Sabha seat from where Pranab Mukherjee had been elected regularly prior to his elevation to the highest office in the nation.

The by-poll was necessitated by the resignation of Pranab Mukjerjee.

Trinamool Congress has not put up any candidate against Abhijit Mukherjee as a political gesture despite severance of ties with the Congress.

Mukherjee is pitted against Muzaffar Hussain (CPI-M) and Sudhangshu Biswas (BJP) in a multi-corner contest.