Polling commences in MP’s 230 Assembly constituencies

Bhopal, Nov 17 (UNI) Voting commenced on Friday in the heartland state of Madhya Pradesh where single-phase exercise of franchise is underway amid tight security across all 230 Assembly constituencies vis-à-vis formation of the state’s 16th Vidhan Sabha.

The time limits are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the exception of certain polling centres in Leftwing extremism-affected Balaghat, Dindori and Mandla districts where voting will cease at 3 p.m.

It was officially learnt that 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 through the medium of electronic voting machines 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 has been 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 BSP 181, SP 71 and 1,166 independents.

Among the prominent contestants are Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Budhni), Congress state head and erstwhile CM 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 BJP Gen Secy Kailash Vijayvargiya (Indore-1).

Counting is slated for December 3.

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