Staff Correspondent

DEHRA DUN: “All the polling personnel have reached the 82 polling booths of Dhumakot Assembly segment in Pauri Garhwal district for the August 29 by-election and adequate police and observers have been deployed to ensure free and fair elections”, the Chief Electoral Officer, N. Ravi Shankar said here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party nominee, Maj. Gen. (retd ) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, is pitted against the Congress strongman and former Minister, Surendra Singh Negi, in a straight fight. Manish Sundriyal, a local unemployed youth leader is also in the fray as an independent.

The seat was vacated by the former Congress Minister and MLA, Lt. Gen. (retd ) T.P.S. Rawat, for Gen. Khanduri much to the chagrin of the party leaders who have been going around saying that Gen. Rawat had deceived the voters by switching over to the saffron brigade.

The run up to the poll witnessed intense campaigning by a large number of BJP and Congress leaders in this remote and backward region with the Congress accusing the ruling party of having misused power and violated the election code several times to influence the voters.