High voter turnout in Amarwara bypoll as BJP, Congress face-off

78.71% polling was recorded in Amarwara, which went for a byelection on Wednesday

Published - July 11, 2024 01:08 am IST - Bhopal

Voters stand in queues to cast their votes for the Amarwara Assembly by-elections, at Pipariya Rajguru polling station in Chhindwara on July 10, 2024.

Voters stand in queues to cast their votes for the Amarwara Assembly by-elections, at Pipariya Rajguru polling station in Chhindwara on July 10, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

A total of 78.71% polling was recorded according to the Election Commission of India on Madhya Pradesh’s reserved Amarwara (Scheduled Tribes) Assembly constituency, which went for a byelection on July 10. While 80% male voters cast their votes, 77.40% female voters exercised their right.

According to the State Election Commission, voting in Amarwara, which falls under the Chhindwara Lok Sabha segment, remained peaceful.

In the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election of November 2023, the constituency had seen a high voting percentage of 88.63%.

The bypoll in Amarwara was necessitated after its three-term MLA Kamlesh Pratap Shah left the Congress to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha election, and resigned from his legislative membership.

Mr. Shah is now contesting the bypoll on a BJP ticket, while the Congress has fielded Dheeran Shah Invati, a new entrant in politics, whose family is considered close to former Chief Minister and former Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath.

Dev Raven Bhalavi, the candidate of the regional outfit, the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP), is also in fray, making the bypoll a triangular contest.

The bypoll in Amarwara is taking place just a little over a month after the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, in which Mr. Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath lost his father’s bastion to the BJP’s Vivek Bunty Sahu, making the byelection a matter of prestige for both parties. Mr. Nakul Nath had won from Chhindwara in 2019 while his father has represented the constituency nine times since 1980.

The byelection saw top State leaders of the BJP and Congress campaigning in the past few weeks in an attempt to wrest the seat.

The Congress campaign led by Mr. Kamal Nath, Mr. Nakul Nath and State Congress chief Jitu Patwari was focused on the Nath family’s emotional connect with voters, and accusations of ‘betrayal’ made against Mr. Shah.

The BJP, led by Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, Mr. Sahu and various tribal leaders, looked to continue its winning momentum in the region.

The family background of the BJP and Congress candidates is also believed to be playing a role in the bypoll. While Mr. Invati’s father is the head priest of a prominent tribal Hindu religious centre in Chhindwara, Mr. Shah hails from the politically influential royal family of Amarwara.

In the 2023 Assembly election, the Congress had won all seven Assembly seats under the Chhindwara Lok Sabha segment.

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