Election begins in Madhya Pradesh

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bhopal
May 05, 2004 08:52 AM IST

An estimated 1.51 crore electorate would exercise their franchise through EVMs to decide the fate of 139 candidates in Madhya Pradesh.

Polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha election in Madhya Pradesh in 12 constituencies began on Wednesday morning amidst tight security arrangements.

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An estimated 1.51 crore electorate would exercise their franchise through Electronic Voting Machines to decide the fate of 139 candidates.

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Prominent among those in fray include Congress' Kamal Nath, BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Coal Prahlad Patel (both Chhindwara) and Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Phaggan Singh Kulaste of BJP (Mandla).

The constituencies going to polls in the first phase are Sagar, Khajuraho, Damoh, Satna, Rewa, Sidhi, Shahdol, Balaghat, Mandla, Jabalpur, Senoi and Chhindwara.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made particularly in Naxal-infested Balaghat and Mandla districts and areas bordering Uttar Pradesh.

Special measures have also been made to ensure peaceful, free and fair voting in 5035 polling stations.

The boundaries of 11 districts -- Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Panna, Shahdol, Balaghat, Seoni, Chhindwara, Chhattarpur, Tikamgarh and Dindori -- attached to other states have been sealed.

A total of 14,000 security personnel, including Homeguard jawans and Special Armed Forces, were brought in for poll duty from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

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