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71% voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh bypoll; counting on June 30

A high voter turnout of 71.24% was recorded on Saturday in the by-election to Garoth Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district, where the polling process passed off peacefully.

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71% voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh bypoll; counting on June 30
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A high voter turnout of 71.24% was recorded on Saturday in the by-election to Garoth Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district, where the polling process passed off peacefully.

The polling was peaceful in the constituency, about 340 km from here, Joint Chief Electoral Officer S S Bansal told reporters. A total of eight candidates are in the fray, but the main contest is between Congress nominee and former Minister Subhash Sojatia and BJP's Chander Singh Sisodia.

The by-poll was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Rajesh Yadav. The final voter turnout stood at 71.24%. Of the total male voters in Garoth, 74.33% exercised their franchise, while the corresponding figure for female electors stood at 67.96 per cent, a senior election official said.

The counting of votes will take place on June 30. Asked about the Congress complaint of violation of Model Code of Conduct by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bansal said the District Electoral Officer has sent his report to the Election Commission, which will take a call on it.

In the complaint, State Congress has alleged Chouhan has violated the code by asking a local party leader to ensure that a particular community votes in favour of BJP and in return the CM assured him a "big post" and more "benefits".

Bansal denied that a clean chit has been given to Chouhan over the issue as reported in a section of media.

The outcome of the bypoll is crucial for both ruling BJP and Opposition Congress, which is out of power in the state since 2003. Congress had deployed a battery of leaders, including Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, Raj Babbar,

Shobha Ojha and State party President Arun Yadav, among others, for electioneering. From BJP, besides Chouhan, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and State BJP President Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan campaigned for the party. 

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