Dehradun: About 50 per cent of the electorate on Monday exercised their franchise in the bypolls to Dharchula, Doiwala and Someshwar Assembly seats in Uttarakhand where a total of 19 candidates, including Chief Minister Harish Rawat, are in fray.
"Approximately 50 per cent of the nearly 3 lakh voters in the three constituencies cast their votes as polling was held peacefully amid adequate security arrangements at all the booths," Uttarakhand`s Chief Election Officer Radha Raturi said here at the end of polling this evening.
The counting for the bypolls will be held on July 25, Raturi said.
It is a constitutional compulsion for Chief Minister Harish Rawat to ensure his entry into the state Assembly as a member within six months of being sworn in, a period that expires on July 31.
Rawat who took over from Vijay Bahuguna as the Chief Minister on February 1 this year was an MP from Haridwar at the time of assuming office.
However, Rawat`s victory from Dharchula seat in Pithoragarh district vacated by his trusted loyalist Harish Dhami is being seen a foregone conclusion as it is a Congress bastion which was never won by the BJP after the formation of the state.
Contesting the bypoll on the plank of development, the ruling Congress has witnessed straight contests with the BJP in all the three seats.
Bypolls to the Doiwala and Someshwar (reserved) seats were necessitated after sitting MLAs from there former chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and Ajay Tamta of the BJP respectively were elected as MPs from Haridwar and Almora constituencies.
Senior Congress leader Hira Singh Bisht is battling it out with BJP`s Trivendra Singh Rawat in Doiwala while Rekha Arya of the Congress is slugging it out with Mohan Lal Arya of the BJP at Someshwar.