Pune, Feb 25 (IANS): The stage is set for the crucial and much bitterly contested by-elections to two constituencies -- Kasbapeth and Chinchwad -- in Pune, scheduled for Sunday, officials said here.
Voting in Kasbapeth will be conducted in 270 polling stations manned by 1,250 polling officials and a police force of 683 deployed to maintain law and order.
The voter strength of Kasbapeth is 2,75,679, besides 54 who shall vote through postal ballots, said Election Returning Officer Sneha K. Devkhate.
In Chinchwad, voting will be done at 510 polling stations, manned by 3,000 polling officials and a police force of 3,707 policemen and 725 officers deployed here.
The voter strength of Chinchwad is 5,68,954, besides 248 who will vote through postal ballots, said Election Returning Officer Sachin Dhole.
Adequate police personnel have also been stationed at all polling stations, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and other requirements have been distributed to all venues and staff have been trained how to operate and repair them if the need arises.
In Chinchwad, the Polling Station No. 195 has been designated as 'Sakhi Polling Station' with women officers and staff manning it.
Polling Stations Nos. 23, 395 and 405 are declared as 'Model Polling Station' and suitable arrangements have been made for the voters in Chinchwad.
The by-elections for the two seats in Pune district were necessitated on account of the deaths of the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs - the late Mukta S. Tilak (Kasbapeth) and the late Laxman P. Jagtap (Chinchwad), in December 2022-January 2023.
The BJP has fielded veteran leader Hemant N. Rasane in Kasbapeth and Jagtap's widow Ashwini L. Jagtap in Chinchwad, both making a determined bid to capture the seats after the party's efforts failed to have unopposed elections.
Rasane and Jagtap are locking horns with the combined Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates -- Congress' Ravindra Dhangekar in Kasbapeth, Nationalist Congress Party's Vithal 'Nana' Kate and a Shiv Sena (UBT) rebel standing as an independent Rahul Kalate in Chinchwad, respectively.
The polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in both constituencies, and the vote-count will be done on March 2, with the results expected on the same day for both seats.