Voting began in Madhya Pradesh for 13 parliamentary seats in the first of the two phase Lok Sabha polls amid tight security on Thursday morning.
Polling began at 7 am across the state where 17,178,000 people, including 8,108,000 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise, election officials said.
The fate of 198 candidates, including nine women, will be decided in Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Sidhi, Jabalpur, Balaghat, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Vidisha, Bhopal, Betul, Shahdol and Mandla constituencies. The last three seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
Over 97,000 election officials have been positioned at 21,834 voting stations in areas going to the polls in the first phase.
The tribal dominated Mandla constituency has the highest number of polling stations at 2,255 while Satna has the lowest at 1,433.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have fielded their candidates in all 13 constituencies, while the Congress and Samajwadi Party have pitted candidates in only 12.