Peaceful polling in MP

PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Bhopal
May 05, 2004 08:09 PM IST

Attacking bees and faulty EVMs were some of highlights of Madhya Pradesh's largely peaceful Lok Sabha elections.

Attacking bees and faulty electronic voting machines (EVMs), a drunk polling official and another who fell from a roof breaking his leg were some of the highlights of Madhya Pradesh's largely peaceful elections Wednesday.

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Till 3 p.m., about 38 per cent polling was recorded in the state, which held the first round of the staggered elections Wednesday to elect 12 MPs. The second phase to elect 17 MPs will be held on May 10.

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"The polling has been peaceful barring a few minor incidents," said an official of the Election Commission office here.

The minor incidents included polling being suspended for a while in the Balkhera area of Jabalpur constituency when a swarm of bees attacked voters, who ran for cover.

Some EVMs went out of order in Damoh, Balaghat, Chhindwara and Chhattarpur constituencies. They were repaired but polling was disrupted for some time.

And in a Parasvara booth, also in Jabalpur constituency, voting was suspended for nearly an hour when a polling official reached for duty in an inebriated state despite strict orders from the Election Commission against consuming alcohol.

Yet another polling official fell from the roof of a polling station in Satna and fractured one of his legs.

Other than these, the elections proceeded steadily without too many interruptions.

Chhindwara constituency, which is witnessing a fierce battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, registered 40 per cent polling, the highest in the state till 3 p.m.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath is seeking re-election from the constituency and is contesting against BJP's Prahalad Patel, central minister of state for coal and mines.

While Chhindwara reported the highest turnout, the lowest was in Shahdol constituency with only 20 per cent of votes cast till 3 p.m.

In all the constituencies, more men than women voted.

The 12 constituencies that went to the polls Wednesday are Sagar, Khajuraho, Damoh, Satna, Rewa, Sidhi, Shahdol, Balaghat, Mandla, Jabalpur, Seoni and Chhindwara.

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