Around 64 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the by-election to Uttarakhand’s Champawat Assembly constituency on Tuesday which will decide the fate of four candidates, including Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. The voting began at 7 am and went on till 5 pm.
As polling drew to a close, approximately 64 per cent of the electorate had cast their votes, District Magistrate Narendra Singh Bhandari said. The voter turnout in the Champawat constituency in the Assembly polls held in February was around 66 per cent, he said.
The slight drop in polling percentage may have been due to nearly three hours of rain in the district in the afternoon, election officials said. Dhami, who lost from Khatima in the February polls, is trying his luck from Champawat to get elected to the Assembly a constitutional requirement he needs to fulfil within six months of being sworn in as chief minister.
Former BJP MLA Kailash Gehtori had resigned from the seat last month to make way for Dhami to make a fresh bid for the state assembly. Dhami is locked in a straight contest with Congress’ Nirmala Gehtori in the seat located in Kumaon region of the state. The other two in the fray are Samajwadi Party’s Manoj Kumar Bhatt and Independent candidate Himashu Gadkoti.
The chief minister campaigned aggressively in Champawat along with Gehtori after filing his nomination on May 9, asking people to give him an opportunity to serve them. BJP star campaigner and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also campaigned for Dhami in Tanakpur.
There are 96,213 voters in the Champawat constituency.