Madhya Pradesh sees higher voter turnout than in 2013, Mizoram a decrease
Around 75 per cent polling was recorded till 6 p.m. in Madhya Pradesh’s 227 assembly constituencies against 72.13 per cent recorded in 2013 assembly polls, Election Commission officials said in New Delhi.Updated: Nov 28, 2018 23:18 IST
Over 75 per cent of the electorate in Madhya Pradesh and 80 per cent in Mizoram voted on Wednesday in the assembly elections in the two states where the BJP and the Congress are seeking a fourth and third term in power respectively.
Around 75 per cent of Madhya Pradesh’s over 5 crore voters - 2,63,01,300 men, 2,41,30,390 women and 1,389 of the third gender - cast their ballot till 6 p.m. in 227 assembly constituencies against 72.13 per cent recorded in the 2013 assembly polls, Election Commission officials said in New Delhi.
In three Maoist-affected constituencies - Baihar, Lanji and Paraswada - in Balaghat district, polling figures were 78 per cent, 79.07 per cent and 80.06 per cent respectively. The polling in these three constituencies began at 7 a.m. and finished at 3 p.m.
Polling was largely peaceful but violence was reported in a few places in Bhind district. Two persons were arrested in a firing incident near an election booth in Bhind, police said.
Several Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioned, which were replaced by the poll panel officials. The Election Commission also announced that Rs 10 lakh each would be paid to its officials who died during the voting exercise.
The highlight of the day was a 101-year-old woman coming out to vote in Agar Malwa district.
The contest in the state is mainly between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, though the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) are also in the fray.
There were a total of 2,907 candidates. The BJP has fielded candidates for all the seats, while the Congress is contesting for 229 seats leaving one in Jatara in Tikamgarh district, for Sharad Yadav-led Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).
The BSP had fielded 227 candidates and the Samajwadi Party is contesting 51 seats. There were 1,102 Independent candidates.
In the 2013 elections, the BJP won 165, Congress 58, BSP four and Independents three.
Mizoram, which is the only state under Congress rule in the northeast, witnessed 80 per cent turnout of its 7.7 lakh voters while collection of figures continued. Election officials had said that the polling percentage to elect the new 40-member assembly would go up as they had not received the actual figures from many constituencies which lacked communication facilities.
In 2013, Mizoram witnessed 83.41 per cent polling and 82.35 per cent voter turnout in 2008.
EVMs were used in the state after 2003. According to officials, over 10,000 elderly voters, including a 108-year old man, a 106-year old woman on wheel chair and 103-year-old man, came out to vote.
In its last northeastern bastion, the Congress is facing a stiff challenge from the Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by former Chief Minister Zoramthanga, while the BJP is also seeking to make its presence felt.
The Congress and the MNF had fielded 40 candidates each while the BJP was contesting in 39 constituencies. A total of 209 candidates are in the fray.
Counting of votes in both states will be held on December 11, along with Chhattisgarh where polling was held in two phases on November 12 and 20, and Rajasthan and Telangana where voting will be held on December 7.
(With IANS inputs)