An official said all preparations have been made for by-elections for one seat in the Lok Sabha and three seats in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.

There are up to 48 candidates in the fray in four constituencies as it is expected to witness direct battles between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress. The official said that voting will start at seven in the morning and end at six in the evening.

Up to 26,50,004 voters are eligible to exercise the franchise during by-elections. Of the 3,944 polling stations in four constituencies, 865 polling stations were deemed “sensitive” by the administration.

Online broadcasts were arranged in 874 polling stations while CCTV cameras were installed in 361 polling stations. Sixteen candidates each compete for by-elections for Khandwa Lok Sabha seat and Raigaon Assembly (SC) constituency.

In these seats, two polling units will be placed in each polling station due to the large number of candidates.

Ten candidates are in the fray at Prithvipur and six are in the Gopat (ST) assembly constituencies. Votes will be counted on November 2.

The BJP occupied the Khandwa parliamentary seat and the Raigaon assembly seat in Satna district, while the Gopats in Alirajpur and Prithvipur in Newari districts were with the Congress.

In Khandwa, the BJP sent former Panchayat chief Janeshwar Patel, refusing to award the ticket to Harshvardhan Chauhan, son of MP Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan whose demise necessitated a visit by People. Congress has dispatched MLA Rajnarayan Singh Purni.

In Gopat, Sulochana Rawat is BJP candidate against Congress candidate Mahesh Patel. The seat became vacant due to the death of Congressman Kalawati Bhoria.

Rawat, a former member of the Moroccan Liberation Army, joined the BJP recently after his resignation from Congress. She had previously won the Congressional ticket in 1998 and 2008.

In the Raigaon (SC) seat, the BJP sent Pratima Bagri, daughter-in-law of MLA Jugal Kishore Bagri whose death necessitated a visit by People. Pratima Bagri will face Kalpana Verma from Congress.

Verma was defeated by Yujal Kishore Bajri in the 2018 elections.

In Prithvipur, BJP dispatched former Samajwadi Party leader Chishupal Singh against Congressman Nitendra Rathore, son of former minister Priindra Singh Rathore who invoked his death.

Additional General Secretary Rajesh Rajura said 58 companies of the Special Armed Forces – including 50 from other states – had been deployed to ensure fair and peaceful elections.

A total of 55 flight divisions and 64 static control teams were pressed into service.

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