About 20 per cent turnout in Madhya Pradesh

PTI | ByPrakash Pillai, Bhopal
May 10, 2004 03:47 PM IST

Polling for the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh began on a dull note on Monday and about 20 per cent voters casted their votes by 1 pm.

Polling for the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh began on a dull note on Monday and about 20 per cent voters casted their votes by 1 pm.

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Highest voter turnout was witnessed in Hoshangabad LS seat with about 31 per cent while the lowest turnout was in Guna, from where Congress candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia is contesting, with about 11 per cent.

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Polling was by and large peaceful in the state except for minor aberrations in Bhind, Guna and Indore where complaints of bogus voting were filed.

Voter turnout was very low in the initial three hours and reports reaching here said that the enthusiasm was also missing from the voters particularly in the rural areas. Intense heat wave prevailing in the Western Madhya Pradesh and lacklustre campaign has attributed to the low voter turnout.

There were complaints of disruption in polling in several polling stations in Bhind, Vidisha and Guna where people wanted to cast votes without photo identity cards. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, MP DS Mathur the situation is under control in the state and polling is peaceful. Administration has taken effective measures to prevent bogus voting and voting without proper identification, he added.

According to reports reaching polling was disrupted in Depalpur in Indore after a scuffle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress workers. Congress candidate from Indore Rameshwar Patel has alleged that the BJP workers were involved in bogus voting while BJP has denied the allegations. Police has registered as case against five party workers. The situation is under control now and polling is going on smoothly. A BJP worker was injured in a clash between Congress and BJP workers in Takipura area of Indore.

Similarly, cases were registered against five people for attempt to booth capture in Pichore region of Guna LS constituency.

Meanwhile, polling was disrupted at a polling station in Morena district as the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was snatched and thrown in a well by miscreants. Reports alleged that few voters in about half a dozen villages in Morena complained that their votes were already cast when they went to the booths.

There were reports of a poll boycott call in Digon village in Susner assembly segment of Shajapur Parliamentary constituency, they said. Over 1,000 villagers have threatened to boycott polling to highlight acute electricity shortage in the area, the sources said. Likewise, voters in the villages of Kuthiyana, Veerpur, Aisah, Kachchapura, Badhpura and Jakhauna Morena LS constituency has also decided to boycott the polls on account of lack of basic amenities. The villagers are reeling under constant power cuts and are facing acute crisis of drinking water.

Among the stalwarts former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh casted his vote from Rajgarh while BJP candidate and state president Kailash Joshi and his wife casted their votes at Malviya Nagar in Bhopal. Union Ministers Sumitra Mahajan and Satyanarayan Jatiya exercised their franchise at Indore and Ujjain constituencies respectively from where they are contesting on BJP ticket.

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