Bypolls in three assembly constituencies in as many states passed off peacefully on Monday with around over 70 per cent voter turnout, though some technical glitches in electronic voting machine were reported in Tamil Nadu and the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal alleged that the Central Reserve Police Force was "influencing" voters.
A voter turnout of more than 73 per cent was recorded till 5 pm in the by-election to West Bengal's Sagardighi assembly constituency in Murshidabad district while over 67.96 per cent voting was registered till 5 pm in the Ramgarh assembly constituency bypoll in Jharkhand.
Around 75 per cent of the voters cast their ballots till 5 pm in the bypoll to Tamil Nadu's Erode East by-election, EC officials said.
No untoward incident was reported during the voting at the three places, Election Commission officials said.
In West Bengal, the ruling TMC accused the Central Reserve Police Force of trying to influence the electors to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The opposition BJP, however, charged the TMC with trying to create an issue out of a non-issue.
The TMC, which has been winning the seat since 2011, had won it in 2021 too by a margin of nearly 50,000 votes, securing more than 50 per cent of the total votes polled, whereas the BJP and the Congress-Left alliance had bagged 24 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively.
Candidates of the ruling Trinamool Congress, the opposition BJP and the Congress-Left alliance are the main contestants.
The by-poll was necessitated after the death of its three-time TMC MLA and state minister Subrata Saha in December last year.
In Jharkhand, polling for the by-election began at 7 am amid tight security arrangements.
Though 18 candidates, including 14 Independents, are in the fray, the contest will be mainly between the Congress, an ally of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led coalition, and the All Jharkhand Students Union Party, which has tied up with the BJP for the bypoll.
The by-election was necessitated after the disqualification of Congress legislator Mamta Devi, following her conviction in a criminal case.
A few alleged technical glitches were reported from Erode East in Tamil Nadu during the by-election, prompting authorities to suspend voting at two booths.
While no untoward incidents were reported, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam complained to the returning officer that some Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam men were distributing cash at Asokapuram, but when authorities rushed to the spot, they did not find anyone there, they said.
At Veerapanchathiram, complaints were received that votes were not recorded for the intended candidate after pressing a particular button on the electronic voting machine.
At Brough Road, some people complained that the EVM did not function properly. At both the places, officials suspended voting for sometime, before resuming after addressing the glitches.
Candidates of the ruling DMK-backed EVKS Elangovan of the Congress and AIADMK's KS Thennarasu among others cast their vote early morning.
The election was necessitated due to the death of Elangovan's son and Congress legislator E Thirumahan Everaa in January this year.
While 77 candidates are in fray, the battle is likely confined between the Congress and AIADMK.
The EC had in January announced that bypolls to the Lakshadweep Lok Sabha seat, along with six Assembly seats spread over five states -- Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu -- would be held on February 27.
The Lakshadweep seat was vacated following the disqualification of Nationalist Congress Party member Mohammed Faizal after his conviction in a criminal case.
However, on January 30, the EC withheld the Lakshadweep Lok Sabha bypoll after the Kerala high court suspended the conviction and sentence of Faizal.
On January 25, the poll panel "revised" the date of polling, from February 27 to February 26, for bypolls in two assembly seats of Maharashtra's Pune district after it was informed about the dates clashing with scheduled class 12 and graduation exams there.
In the bypolls held on Sunday, a voter turnout of 50.47 per cent was recorded in Chinchwad Assembly seat and 50.06 per cent in Kasba Peth Assembly segment, with the ruling as well as opposition camps expressing confidence about the victory of their respective candidates.
In Arunachal Pradesh's Lumla seat, BJP candidate Tsering Lhamu was declared elected the MLA without a contest on February 10.
Lhamu, the wife of former MLA Jambey Tashi, was the only candidate who filed her nomination for the by-election which was necessitated due to the death of her husband in November last year.