Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2018 updates: Voting concludes in Naxal-hit area; over 60% turnout recorded on all 3 seats

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Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2018 updates: Voting concludes in Naxal-hit area; over 60% turnout recorded on all 3 seats
  • 15:46 (IST)

    Three arrested for firing incident at Bhind

    Three people have been arrested in connection with the firing outside polling booth number 72 in Bhind Assembly constituency. Earlier, it was reported that some miscreants even broke an EVM at one of the polling stations. 

  • 15:43 (IST)

    Encouraging voter turnout in Maoist-affected areas of MP 

    The three Maoist-affected seats in Madhya Pradesh — Baihar, Lanjhi and Paraswada — reported encouraging voter turnout. According to reports, 66 percent turnout was recorded in Baihar, 64 percent in Lanjhi, and 68 percent polling was reported in Paraswada. 

  • 15:39 (IST)

    50% voter turnout in MP till 3 pm 

    Fifty percent voter turnout was recorded in Madhya Pradesh till 3 pm. The voting is likely to pick up with only one hour left before polling closes. 

  • 15:30 (IST)

    Voting in three Naxal-hit constituencies conclude 

    The voting has concluded for Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections in three Assembly segments in Naxal-affected Balaghat district — Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar. The voting time was held between 7 am to 3 pm.

  • 15:19 (IST)

    At least 10 MP villages boycott polls over lack of basic facilities 

    Entire villages in Madhya Pradesh stayed away from the polling exercise as they were protesting against the lack of basic amenities. People in the Majesara village of Mandsaur have boycotted the elections due to the problem of corruption in their area. There are 856 voters in their village. In Shahdol, voters in Vicharpura village have boycotted the elections protesting against the lack of availability of basic resources/facilities like water and road infrastructure.

    The villagers of Ruparel village which falls under the Sunser Vidhan Sabha seat in Agar Malwa, have boycotted the elections and not even a single vote has been polled yet. There are around 283 voters in the village and they are boycotting the elections over no roads in their village. 

    In Harda as well, villagers of Piliyakhal ward number 35 have boycotted the elections over lack of road and electricity facilities. The villagers of Govindgarh and Janakpur which fall under the Bhander Vidhan Sabha in Datia have also boycotted the polls over the demand of canal and road. Only four votes have been polled till now.

    Likewise, the villagers of Patpara, Tikra Maheshpuri, Khalhe and Maheshpuri Chirapani in Dindori district have not voted yet. They are boycotting the elections over water problems

  • 15:04 (IST)

    A small village in Agar Malwa sees  94 percent voting

    Ninety four percent voting was recorded in the Kalaria village till 14.30 hrs. There are 571 voters in the village and 537 out of them have exercised their franchise.
     

    Input by Rajneesh Sethi/101Reporters

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Shivraj expresses grief at the death of poll officials

    Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expresses grief at the death of the two polling officials on election duty. 

  • 14:55 (IST)

    Three generations of a family cast their vote in Sanwer 

  • 14:47 (IST)

    37.16% votes polled till 2.30 pm; Kamal Nath's Chhindwara sees highest turnout

    A total of 37.26 percent were polled in Madhya Pradesh till 2.30 pm. Kamal Nath's home district Chhindwara saw the maximum turnout with 45.62 percent votes polled, while Morena was the district with the lowest voting percentage at just 29.78 percent turnout.

  • 14:39 (IST)

    Congress polling agent shot at in Mehgaon
     

    Pradeep Singh Bhadauria, polling agent of the Congress candidate in Mehgaon Assembly constituency, was shot at and is reportedly seriously injured. He was rushed to a hospital in Gwalior, Hindustan Times reported. 

  • 14:36 (IST)

    Name of Congress supporters 'missing' from voters' list in Bhopal North constituency 

    Congress workers claimed that name of hundreds of voters is missing from the voters' list at booth no. 278 in ward number 30 of Bhopal North constituency. All these people reportedly belong to Congress and they allege that the local BJP MLA has hatched a conspiracy. 

    Input bY Kashif Kakvi, 101Reporters

  • 14:13 (IST)

    Congress leader Kamal Nath courts controversy for 'revealing' his vote, says I only showed my palm 

    Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath found himself surrounded in controversy after he flashed his party's election symbol (palm) to media after casting his vote.

    "I had already cast my vote. When people asked me when those from media asked me whom I have voted for I showed this (palm). What else could have I done?Show a lotus?" Kamal Nath, said on allegations that he showed his election symbol after casting his vote in Chhindwara.  

  • 14:05 (IST)

    BJP's sole Muslim candidate, Fatima Siddiqui from Bhopal North, cast her vote. 
     

    Input by Kashif Kakvi/101Reporters

  • 13:49 (IST)

    Madhya Pradesh records 47.29% voting till 1.30 pm

    Up till 1.30 pm, a total of 31.33 percent voters have cast their votes in the Madhya Pradesh elections with over 1.58 crore votes polled. The highest voter turnout was recorded in Anuppur 47.29%, while Dindori recorded the lowest turnout with just 20.77 percent coming out to cast their vote. 

    Input by Karishma K

  • 13:37 (IST)

    Violence, vandalism mar election process in Bhind district 

    Incidences of violence have been report from Bhind district today. Gunshots were fired in front of two polling booths. Sources said that the assailants have fled the spot and the firing was done with the intention of disrupting the polling exercise.

    The district is located in the Gwalior-Chambal region. The region is expected to witness tense contest between BJP and Congress. The region has a total of 34 seats.

    In 2013, BJP had won 20 seats in the region followed by 12 by the Congress. The BSP had managed to win two seats here.

    With inputs from Tezpal Singh/101Reporters

  • 13:30 (IST)

    CEC says local officers to take call on extending poll time 

    Responding to Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia's demand to extend polling time in booths where EVM malfunction thwarted voting, Chief election Commissioner OP Rawat said that there are provisions for extension of time in the law, and the local officers can take a call on it. 

    Scindia had written to Rawat seeking an extension in polling time, stating that no voter should be left out because the Electronic Voting machines were not in order. 

  • 13:25 (IST)

    35 visually impaired women voters have voted in Indore-5 constituency

    Thirty five visually impaired woman came out to exercise their franchise in Indore-5 constituency. 

  • 13:09 (IST)

    Congress says EVM malfunctioning affected party strongholds, demands re-poll

    As Reports of EVM snags continue to filter in, Congress leader Kamal Nath alleged that the voting seems to be getting affected only in regions which were Congress' stronghold. While Nath said that the poll panel should consider holding re-polls if the polling cannot continue in an uninterrupted fair way, his party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia demanded that polling time be extended to compensate for the lost time.

  • 12:55 (IST)

    Jyotiraditya Scindia demands extension of time in booths where EVM malfunction halted voting 

    "There have been many complaints of EVM's malfunctioning, have written to Election Commission. We have requested that voting time in these polling booths should be extended to compensate for the delay in polling. 

  • 12:47 (IST)

    Local business establishments offer discounts to encourage voters 

    Satish Chouhan runs a barber shop in Indore. He is offering free services to customers who have voted today. When asked about how he would cover up losses, he says that his primary goal is the betterment of the nation, and if through this small gesture he could motivate more voters, he would be a good citizen. Voters need to only show their inked fingers, and they would get a free shave.

    A restaurant in Bhopal too was seen offering a 10 percent discount to customers who have voted. 

  • 12:43 (IST)

    Farmer-dominated Mandsaur sees high voter turnout till noon

    Political pundits decipher a good voter turnout as either a sign of a favourable wave for one of the contesting parties, or conversely it reflects strong anti-incumbency sentiment. In Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, which recorded 33.23 percent turnout till noon, the latter seems to be the case rather than the former, given the place's history. Mandsaur was the epicentre of agrarian protests last year which resulted in the deaths of six farmers in police action. And while these deaths, including four from the dominant Patidar community in the area, remains a sore point, the falling prices of crops have only added to farmer woes.. 

  • 12:35 (IST)

    22% voting recorded till 12 pm 

    The Madhya Pradeh elections say around 22 percent voter turnout till 12 pm today. Highest voter turnout of 34.68 percent was reported in Agar Malwa district and lowest turnout of 14.56 percent was recorded in Rewa district

  • 12:33 (IST)

    Over 250 EVMs replaced so far; Opposition cries foul 

    Reports of EVM snags continue to filter in. According to latest reports, at least 250 EVMs and several more VVPATs have been replaced so far. Polling remained halted at several booths for hours, owing to these technical glitches.

    Meanwhile, Congress party raised questions over these issues. Party's state president Kamal Nath said that the glitches were thwarting the polling process. 

  • 12:29 (IST)

    Several villages boycott elections over basic demads

    In Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol district, voters in Vicharpura village have boycotted the elections due to lack of availability of basic facilities like water and road infrastructure. Voters in Madai village in Satna district had also boycotted the polls over the unavailability of schools in the village.

  • 12:11 (IST)

    EC announces Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia to family of poll officials who died of cardiac arrest on duty

  • 12:10 (IST)

    Congress' internal data team predicts party's slim lead over BJP, say reports 

    Most opinion polls have suggested a lead, albeit a very narrow one, for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. However, Shashank Shukla, the national coordinator for the Congress data analytics team supervising the party's campaign in Madhya Pradesh told NDTV that the party has edged past the BJPShukla said that the Congress was in a lead by 2.8 percent. 

    Althoiugh he conceded that this could be within the margin of error, but added that the Congress' lead will "go over 5 percent".

  • 11:44 (IST)

    BJP faces ire of Patidar voters, as local community leaders vow to overthrow govt 

    Madhya Pradesh has the second largest population of Patidars after Gujarat, with nearly 60 lakh voters belonging to the community, out of which 40 lakh are from the Malwa region itself. Also, out of the 230 seats in contention, the fate of around 34 would be predominantly decided by a majority of Patidar voters present in these constituencies.

    Ambalal Patidar, Gopal Patidar, farmers in Mandsaur blame the current government for the problems farmers face in MP. They hold the current government responsible for the police excesses on protesting farmers last year in Mandsaur and state that they want to overthrow the government. 
     

    With inputs from Kashif Kakvi/101Reporters

  • 11:26 (IST)

    In Bhind, rival candidates detained together, say reports

    Reports said that around 10 candidates, from five seats in the senistive Bhind district were detained together in view of maintaining the law and order situation. Sources say this move has been put in place as a precautionary measure as Bhind remains a sensitive region prone to political violence during election season, reports said.

    The police had earlier, detained BJP and Congress candidates from Ater in Bhind, Arvind Singh Bhadauriya (BJP) and Hemant Katare (Congress), to prevent any kind of untoward situation. They have been kept at the circuit house.

  • 11:19 (IST)

    MP minister caught with Rs 10 lakh in car, Congress alleges 'cash-for-vote'

    State minister and senior BJP leader Devraj Singh Parihar was caught carrying approximately Rs 10 lakh in his car which the Congress alleges was meant for ‘cash for vote’, ABP News reported. Parihar is managing BJP MLA Rajesh Sonkar’s electoral campaign in Sanwer Assembly seat. The matter was reported to the police by Congress workers who reportedly waylaid Parihar’s vehicle to catch him 'red handed' with the notes.

    After the initial probe, allowed Parihar to leave. This angered Congress workers who then blocked roads and staged protests against BJP's 'corrupt tactics' to lure voters with money and violating the rules set by the Election Commission. They alleged the police was colluding with Parihar and letting him go without facing any action. There were reports of angry farmers also holding a separate protest over the incident.

  • 11:04 (IST)

    In Bhind, 10 candidates put under house arrest, say reports

    Around 10 candidates, including those of Congress and the BJP in five seats of Bhind district have been put under house arrest. Sources say this move has been put in place as a precautionary measure as Bhind remains a sensitive region prone to political violence during election season, reports said.

    The police had earlier, detained BJP and Congress candidates from Ater in Bhind, Arvind Singh Bhadauriya (BJP) and Hemant Katare (Congress), to prevent any kind of untoward situation. They have been kept at the circuit house.

  • 10:56 (IST)

    Kamal Nath raises questions over malfunctioning EVMs

    Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president Kamal Nath said he has received reports of long queues at MP polling booths due to faulty EVMs. He said that these technical glitches are stalling the polling process and the Election Commission should immediately take action on this.  

  • 10:37 (IST)

    Faulty EVMs continue to irk voters in parts of state 

    Reports of EVM malfunctioning have been filtering in consistently. In some places, like in Tilak Nagar polling booth in Indore-5 constituency, the polling remained halted for over two hours due to EVM malfunction. 

    Meanwhile, two faulty EVMs in Ujjain, 11 VVPAT machines in Alirajpur, 5 VVPAT and 2 EVMs in Burhanpur also had to be replaced. The voting process was halted for about 40 minutes at booth number 96 in Harda due to a technical glitch in the EVM, while it remained affected for about an hour at polling booth number 168. 

  • 10:27 (IST)

    In Satna's Madai village, voters boycott polling demanding schools for children

    Voters have boycotted polling in Madai village in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district over the unavailability of schools in the village.

  • 10:20 (IST)

    Police seizes campaign material from BJP's polling agent in Bhopal 

    The Madhya Pradesh Police has seizes campaign material from BJP's polling agents in Saint Mary's area in Bhopal as it was within 200 meters of a polling booth. The police also detained one person following the incident.

  • 10:16 (IST)

    One EC official, one govt dies on duty after taking ill

    Sohan Lal Batham, an Election Commission official, died due to cardiac arrest in Guna. Following this, reports came that another government employee at polling duty in Mhow also passed away after he took ill while on duty.

    Kailash Patel, a teacher at Utkrisht Vidyalay, Mhow who was deployed at Deepika Bal Mandir in Nehru Nagar in Indore-5 constituency suffered an attack at 6:50 am. He was rushed to Shalby hospital where he was declared dead. The collector announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the deceased. 

    By Vijit Rao and Karishma K

  • 10:10 (IST)

    Police detains BJP, Congress candidates from Ater in Bhind following clashes 

    The police have detained BJP and Congress candidates from Ater in Bhind, Arvind Singh Bhadauriya (BJP) and Hemant Katare (Congress), to prevent any kind of untoward situation. They have been kept at the circuit house.

    By Pankaj Gupta, 101Reporters.

  • 10:00 (IST)

    Don't vote for individuals, poll for better future of MP, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan 

    Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan exuded confidence that the Bharatiya janata Party will return to power in for the fourth consecutuve term.

    "We’re 100 percent certain that the BJP will form government with an absolute majority. We have set a target of 200 seats and our lakhs of volunteers are working to make it a reality," Chouhan said after casting his vote in Budhni.  

    Polling, Shivraj Chouhan said, will determine the future of MP and its future generations. "Your vote today will help the farmers and the poor. This vote is not for an individual but for the whole of Madhya Pradesh," he said. 

  • 09:50 (IST)

    Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar casts vote, urges voters to strengthen Modi's hands 

    Speaking to reporters outside the polling booth in Gwalior, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that he was confident that Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be blessed with a consecutive fourth term. Tomar urged the voters to support the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and further strengthen the party. 

  • 09:39 (IST)

    Elaborate arrangements made to conduct peaceful voting in sensitive seats 

    According to State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) VL Kantha Rao, out of the 65,341 polling stations across MP, 17,000 have been declared 'sensitive' and additional vigil will be maintained there. As many as 1.80 lakh security personnel, including those drawn from central paramilitary forces, have been deployed to ensure free and fair poll, Rao said. He said 78,870 EVMs will be used during the poll.

    "Special measures have been taken for sensitive booths. Webcasting will be held from 6,500 polling stations, while videography will be carried out at 4,600 booths," he said.

  • 09:37 (IST)

    EC sets up Pink voting booths in Narsinghpur to encourage women voters

  • 09:34 (IST)

    Voting picks up in Naxal-hit constituencies, people queue up to exercise franchise 

    Borgaon polling booth in the Naxal-infested village in Balaghat saw an encouraging turnout early in the morning. Women were also seen turning up in large numbers. Reports said that polling was peacefully underway in two other Nacal-hit constituencies. 

    By Hiten Chauhan, 101Reporters

  • 09:26 (IST)

    First time voters queue up to cast vote with job security in mind 

    The only issue that consume young voters in Madhya Pradesh is lack of employment opportunities in mind. More than 19 per cent of Madhya Pradesh’s 70 million population is in the job-seeking age group of 15-24 years, according to the 2011 census. As we spoke to some of the first time voters who had queued up to exercise their franchise, job security was the predominant theme, with little to no exception. Here is what Seema Patidar, a first time voter from Neemuch had to say. 

  • 09:17 (IST)

    Watch: Madhya Pradesh Election Commissioner VL Kantha Rao on EVM malfunctioning in Char Imli.

    Input by Karishma K

  • 09:14 (IST)

    EVM snags reported at some seats in Madhya Pradesh 

    The Electronic Voting Machines have reportedly developed technical snag at a few places. The polling at booth number 204 Mahirishi Vidya Mandir in Mandla was halted after the polling machine stopped working. ANI reported that another voting machine at polling booth number 178 at Dabra seat in,Gwalior district was also not working.

    With inputs fro, Chandresh Khare/101Reporters

  • 09:02 (IST)

    Heavy security deployed in state as Madhya Pradesh elects new Assembly

    The Centre and state governments have made elaborate secrity arrangements for the peaceful culmination of the polling process. 

    • 11,900 jawans from Central police force deployed.
    • Over 41,000 vehicles to be used today.
    • Webcasting to be conducted in 6,500 centers.
    • 12,000 people are on webcasting duty.

    There are a total of 5,03,94,086 eligible voters in MP, with approximately 2,40,76,693 female voters and 1,410 transgender person voters. 65,367 polling booths have been set up, with special pink booths designated to encourage women voters. Around 3,046 booths will be secured by an all-women’s force.

    Input by Karishma K

  • 08:59 (IST)

    ADR report says 11% candidates have serious cases against them; total 17% face criminal charges 

    Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO that works for electoral and political reforms, and Madhya Pradesh Election Watch have said in a report that 464 candidates (or 17 percent) of those in the fray have declared criminal cases against them and 295 (or 11 percent) of the total candidates have been charged with serious criminal cases. 

    In 2013, this number stood at 407 or 16 percent out of 2,494 candidates, and 263 or 11 percent nominees had a record of serious criminal cases.

  • 08:56 (IST)

    Voters show enthusiasm in three Naxal-hit seats, long queues seen outside polling booths

    In Paraswada seat in Balaghat district, a good number of people have turned up to vote. Polling picked up early in these parts, where voting started at 7 am, an hour before the rest of the state.

    By Hiten Chauhan, 101Reporters

  • 08:45 (IST)

    Another Congress candidate prayed at a Ganapati temple before casting vote 

    Congress Candidate from Indore 1 constituency Sanjay Shukla visited a temple and conducted a Ganesh Pooja before exercising his franchise. 
     

    Image by Karishma K

  • 08:41 (IST)

    Women voters show enthusiasm. line up to cast an early vote in Neemuch 

    Large number of women voters have turned up to vote at the Awan Palsoda polling booth in Neemuch district. These women are farmers and will return to their fields after voting. 

    By Vijit Rao Madhik

  • 08:31 (IST)

    From prayers at temple, rivers banks to candidates seeking blessings of their mothers, on polling day candidates turn to religion 

    As polling kick started in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was seen praying at the banks of Saryu river with his wife Sadhna Singh. Meanwhile, Congress' Kamal Nath was seen praying at the Hanuman temple in Chhindwara. Both parties have high-stakes in the state polls. Another Congress candidate from Rau constituency Jitu Patwari went to seek his mother's blessings, as he stepped out to cast his vote early morning. His mother conducted an Aarti before she let him step out of his house. 

    Vidio by K Kotwal, 101Reporters

Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly Election LATEST updates: After 12pm, the EC officials in MP said that around 250 EVMs had been replaced in the ongoing elections. The number is expected to increase as reports pour in. At several places, even the replaced machine did not function properly, and had to be replaced yet again. At least 1,545 VVPATs also had to be replaced. Meanwhile Congress leader Kamal Nath alleged that the voting seems to be getting affected only in regions which were Congress' stronghold.

A total of 37.26 percent were polled in Madhya Pradesh till 2.30 pm. Kamal Nath's home district Chhindwara saw the maximum turnout with 45.62 percent votes polled, while Morena was the district with the lowest voting percentage at just 29.78 percent turnout.

Incidences of violence have been report from Bhind district today. Gunshots were fired in front of two polling booths. Sources said that the assailants have fled the spot and the firing was done with the intention of disrupting the polling exercise.

Responding to Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia's demand to extend polling time in booths where EVM malfunction thwarted voting, Chief election Commissioner OP Rawat said that there are provisions for extension of time in the law, and the local officers can take a call on it.

As Reports of EVM snags continue to filter in, Congress leader Kamal Nath alleged that the voting seems to be getting affected only in regions which were Congress' stronghold. While Nath said that the poll panel should consider holding re-polls if the polling cannot continue in an uninterrupted fair way, his party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia demanded that polling time be extended to compensate for the lost time.

According to latest reports, at least 250 EVMs and several more VVPATs have been replaced so far. Polling remained halted at several booths for hours, owing to these technical glitches.

Patidar voters and farmers have openly expressed their displeasure with the ruling government. Farmers have also not forgotten the Mandsaur protests where two farmers were killed allegedly in police firing. "Bhav lenge, Bhavantar nahi (we want right price for our produce and not the difference in market price from the government)," is the dominant sentiment amid voters queuing outside polling booths.

Voting was halted at polling booths number 39 and 40 after unidentified persons broke the EVM machines. Around 10 candidates, including those of Congress and the BJP in five seats of Bhind district have been put under house arrest. Sources say this move has been put in place as a precautionary measure as Bhind remains a sensitive region prone to political violence during election season, reports said.

At least four EVMs and 14 VVPAT machines have been replaced in polling booths across Madhya Pradesh since polling began.  The polling at booth number 204 Mahirishi Vidya Mandir in Mandla was halted after the polling machine stopped working. ANI reported that another voting machine at polling booth number 178 at Dabra seat in,Gwalior district was also not working.

The only issue that consume young voters in Madhya Pradesh is lack of employment opportunities in mind. More than 19 per cent of Madhya Pradesh’s 70 million population is in the job-seeking age group of 15-24 years, according to the 2011 census. As we spoke to some of the first time voters who had queued up to exercise their franchise, job security was the predominant theme, with little to no exception.

Congress leader Kamal Nath cast his vote from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara. He had earlier offered prayers at a Hanuman temple in the city. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered prayers at the banks of Saryu river with his family, and later conducted an aarti before proceeding to cast his vote.

Voters queue up at a polling booth in Neemuch. Team 101 Reporters

Voters queue up at a polling booth in Neemuch. Team 101 Reporters

Large number of women voters have turned up to vote at the Awan Palsoda polling booth in Neemuch district. These women are farmers and will return to their fields after voting.

As polling kick started in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was seen praying at the banks of Saryu river with his wife Sadhna Singh. Meanwhile,

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi had penned an open letter to voters.

The voting has begun for Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections in three Assembly segments in Naxal-affected Balaghat district — Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar. The voting time will be from 7 am to 3 pm.

Madhya Pradesh is all set to vote on Wednesday to elect a 230-member assembly, with 1.80 lakh security personnel deployed on duty to ensure peaceful polling in the state, where the ruling BJP and opposition Congress will vie for supremacy. The BJP is eyeing a fourth straight term in office, while the Congress is hoping for a comeback in the state which was once its stronghold.

The battle of ballots in Madhya Pradesh is just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls slated in the first half of 2019. As many as 2,899 candidates, including 1,094 independents, are in the fray for the 230 seats, but the main contest is between the Congress and BJP - the big two of Madhya Pradesh politics.

The state has 5.04 crore, eligible voters. Addressing a press conference Tuesday, State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) VL Kantha Rao said, "All preparations for the Wednesday polling have been completed. All polling parties have left for their respective booths and most of them have reached their destination". He said polling will be held from 8 am to 5 pm in 227 seats, while in three assembly segments in Naxal-affected Balaghat district - Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar - voting time will be from 7 am to 3 pm.

Rao said 3,00,782 government employees, including 45,904 women, have been deployed on poll duty across the state, where 65,341 polling stations have been set up. The CEO said 17,000 of these polling booths have been declared 'sensitive' and additional vigil will be maintained there.  As many as 1.80 lakh security personnel, including those drawn from central paramilitary forces, have been deployed to ensure free and fair poll, Rao said. "Special measures have been taken for sensitive booths. Webcasting will be held from 6,500 polling stations, while videography will be carried out at 4,600 booths," he said.

Rao said 78,870 EVMs will be used during the poll. He said physically challenged employees will manage 160 booths, while 3,046 polling centres will have all-women staff. "As many as 40,487 vehicles, including 9,600 buses and 8,500 minibuses are being used in the polling process," Rao said.

Among the 2,899 candidates, 250 are women and five are from the third gender, the CEO said. "The candidates include 1,794 from general category, 591 from Scheduled Castes and 514 from Scheduled Tribes. The highest number of seven female candidates are contesting from Chhatarpur, where 16 candidates are in the fray," Rao said. The highest number of candidates - 34 - are in the fray in the Mehgaon constituency in Bhind district, while the lowest - 4 - is at Gunnor in Panna district," he said.

According to the final electoral roll, the state has 5,04,95,251 voters - 2,63,01,300 males, 2,41,30,390 females, 1,389 third gender and 62,172 postal electors. The BJP is contesting all the 230 seats, while the Congress has fielded 229 candidates, leaving one seat, Jatara in Tikamgarh district, for its ally - Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in office since 2005, is seeking re-election from Budhni in Sehore district. The BSP has fielded 227 candidates, while the SP is contesting on 52 seats.  The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), contesting the Madhya Pradesh elections for the first time, has fielded 208 candidates.

In reply to a question, Rao said so far Rs 100 crore, out of the Rs 411 crore budget, has been spent on the polling process. In the last assembly polls, the BJP had won 165 seats, the Congress 58, the BSP four and the independents three seats.

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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2018 16:45:49 IST

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