Jhabua Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh went to polls on October 21. (Photo Credit: PTI)
About 62 per cent voters exercised their franchise during the polling held on Monday for the seat, where the state's ruling Congress and opposition BJP are locked in a keen contest.
"The counting will be completed in 26 rounds amid tight security and under the surveillance of CCTV cameras," Jhabua Collector and Returning Officer Prabal Sipaha said. While the main contestants are senior Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria and the BJP's Bhanu Bhuria, who is making his electoral debut, three independents -- Kalyan Singh Damor, Neelesh Damor and Rameshwar Singhar -- are also in the fray.
In the Assembly polls held last year, G S Damor of the BJP defeated Vikrant Bhuria of the Congress Later, in the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, Damor defeated Vikrant Bhuria's father Kantilal Bhuria from Ratlam seat.
Since Damor resigned as MLA after winning the Lok Sabha election, the by-election in Jhabua became necessary. The Congress, which enjoys a slim majority in the state Assembly, is keen to wrest the seat from the BJP.
The ruling party won the seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, ten times since 1952. But the BJP breached the Congress' stronghold in 2013, and retained it in the last year's polls also.