60.52 pc polling until 3 pm in MP

Bhopal, Nov 17 (UNI) An estimated 60.52 percent largely-peaceful voting was recorded until 3 pm on Friday in the heartland state of Madhya Pradesh where single-phase exercise of franchise commenced at 7 am amid tight security arrangements across all 230 Assembly constituencies vis-à-vis formation of the state’s 16th Vidhan Sabha.

With the exception of a few stray clashes, no untoward incident was reported. Voting concluded at 3 pm at certain polling centres in Leftwing extremism-affected Balaghat, Dindori and Mandla districts where the turnout exceeded 50 percent. The deadline is 6 pm at all other places.

Official sources provided the district-wise voting break-up as Agar-Malwa 69.96 percent, Alirajpur 50.66, Anuppur 62.47, Ashoknagar 61.49, Balaghat 68.55, Barwani 59.50, Bhind 52.14, Bhopal 45.34, Chhindwara 68.07, Dewas 66.31 and Jabalpur 58.09. This is inclusive and not exhaustive.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family voted at their native village Jait in Sehore district. Union Civil Aviation and Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia did likewise in Gwalior; Home Minister Narottam Mishra cast his vote in Datia district, erstwhile CM Kamal Nath in Chhindwara and BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in Indore.

An electorate exceeding 5.60 crore – including more than 2.71 crore women and 1,292 of the third gender – is eligible to participate in the democratic exercise at 64,626 polling centres – including 17,032 critical ones – to decide the fortunes of 2,533 nominees including 252 females and one member of the third gender.

A total of 1,316 vulnerable areas were identified. Monitoring through webcasting and closed-circuit television was arranged at more than 42,000 centres.

The ruling BJP and the principal-opposition Congress have fielded their representatives for all seats whereas other figures include Bahujan Samaj Party 181; Samajwadi Party 71 and 1,166 independents.

Among the prominent contestants are Chief Minister Chouhan (Budhni), Congress state head Kamal Nath (Chhindwara), Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar (Dimani), Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Food-Processing Industries Prahalad Singh Patel (Narsinghpur), Union MoS for Steel and Rural Development Faggansingh Kulaste (Niwas) and Mr Vijayvargiya (Indore-1).

Counting is slated for December 3.


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