By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
PITHORAGARH, 25 Nov: A total of 47.48 percent of voters exercised their franchise during the polling held for the Pithoragarh assembly seat. According to the District Election Officer of Pithoragarh, a total of 50,191 voters exercised their franchise. As compared to the 2017 assembly elections, a significant drop in the polling percentage has been reported. Of course, this is not too surprising since voting percentage generally comes down in the bypolls. It may be recalled that the seat had fallen vacant due to the sudden demise of incumbent MLA Prakash Pant on 5 June this year. While the polling was completed peacefully without any untoward incident, voters of village Devdwar boycotted the bypoll in seeking construction of a road to the village. In all, there are 461 voters in the village. Although the ARO, Dr Vidyasagar Kapdi, tried to convince the villagers to participate in the polling, they refused and not even one vote from the village was cast. By 1 p.m., only 27 percent polling was reported in the constituency. However, it gathered pace after lunch and by the end of polling at 5 p.m., 47.48 percent of the voters had cast their votes. Observer of the Election Commission of India, General Rashid Khan and Observer B KalyanNath, District Election Officer Dr Vijay Kumar Jogande, SP, Pithoragarh, RC Rajguru, Joint Chief Electoral Officer Pratap Sah, Deputy District Election Officer RD Paliwal and RO DT Saini visited many of the polling stations to ensure peaceful and free conduct of the polling process. After the polling was over, EVMs and polling materials were deposited by the polling parties at their respective Collection Centres.