44% turnout till 1 pm in Talala Assembly seat bypoll in Gujarat

The by-election was necessitated after Jasu Barad, Congress MLA from the constituency, passed away in January.

Ahmedabad: Nearly 44 percent voter turnout was registered till 1 pm on Monday during the ongoing poll for the by-election in Talala Assembly constituency in Gir-Somnath district of Saurashtra, officials said.

According to Gir-Somnath Collector Ajay Kumar, no untoward incident has been reported so far.

"Till 1 pm, around 44 percent voters, out of total two lakhs, have exercised their franchise. We expect it to increase as polling will end at 5 pm. No untoward incident has taken place during polling," Kumar said.

Polling is presently underway at 230 booths.

The counting of votes will take place on May 19.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the polling as three battalions each of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been deployed, besides the local police, Kumar said.

The by-election was necessitated after Jasu Barad, Congress MLA from the constituency, passed away in January.

The Congress and BJP are in a direct fight in the by-election.

While the Congress has given ticket to Bhagwanji Barad, younger brother of Jasu Barad, the BJP has fielded Govind Parmar, who won the Talala seat in 2002.

This will be the second face off between Bhagwanji Barad and Parmar as they had contested against each other on the same seat in the 2007 Assembly polls.

Barad had then defeated Parmar.

Parmar, on the other hand, had won the 2002 Assembly election defeating Jasu Barad.

Later, Jasu Barad defeated Parmar in 2012 Assembly polls with a thin margin.