Voting began on a slow note for the Chotila assembly bypoll in neighbouring Surendranagar district with about 16 to 18 per cent of total 1.84 lakh of voters exercising their franchise in the first three hours, officials said.

The by-election was necessitated after the death of BJP’s sitting MLA Vashram Khorani.

As many as nine candidates are in the fray, while the main battle is between the Congress and the BJP. The assembly segment is dominated by Koli (fishermen) community.

Bharat Khorani, son of late BJP MLA Vashram Khorani, expects to get sympathy following his father’s death while Congress candidate Nirantben Dhariya is sister of Rajkot MP Kunvarji Bavaliya, and hopes to be supported by Koli voters.

Result of the by-election would be declared on January 23.

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