The counting of votes for the by elections in Mungaoli and Kolaras in Madhya Pradesh and Bijepur in Odisha began at 8 am on Wednesday.Earlier,the voter turnover for Mungaoli and Kolaras in Madhya Pradesh was 77.05 and 70.4%, respectively. Bijepur recorded a voter turnout of 72%. The Congress and BJP are at loggerheads in MP, while the BJD is looking to win.Thirteen candidates, including the Congress’ Brijendra Singh Yadav and the BJP’s Bai Sahib, are in fray in Mungaoli, while 22 candidates, including Congress’ Mahendra Singh Yadav and BJP’s Devendra Jain, are contesting in Kolaras.At 10.45 am, the Congress was leading by 690 votes in Kolaras and by 174 votes in Mungaoli bypolls. The BJD meanwhile has surged ahead in Odisha with a lead of over 12,000 votes.Ten minutes later, The Congress was leading by 766 votes in Kolaras and by 1381 votes in Mungaoli.The bypoll in Mungaoli was necessitated by the death of sitting Congress MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukheda. The BJP fielded Baisaab Yadav, wife of former MLA Deshraj Singh, against the Congress candidate Brijendra Singh Yadav.The Kolares bypoll was held because sitting Congress lawmaker Ram Singh Yadav died while in office. Here, the Congress has fielded Mahendra Singh Yadav and the BJP has chosen Devendra Jain to contest.The bypolls are crucial as Madhya Pradesh goes to elections later this year.

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Bypoll results: BJP and Congress neck-and-neck in MP; BJD dominating in Odisha