Madhya Pradesh records highest voter turnout

Madhya Pradesh records highest voter turnout

Madhya Pradesh on Monday witnessed the highest-ever voter turnout of over 70 per cent and Mizoram more than 81 per cent in the Assembly polls, marred by stray violence which left two Congress activists dead in the central state.

MP Minister of State for Women and Child Development Ranjana Baghel was booked under Sections 353/34 of the IPC for allegedly bribing voters in Dhar district.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Jaideep Govind told reporters in Bhopal that there was firing in the air at some places in Lahar constituency in Bhind district, but said there was no possibility of a re-poll.

He said one man, identified as Bhurasingh Kansana, nephew of sitting Congress MLA and candidate for Sumavali constituency in Morena district, was killed when a Border Security Force  jawan opened fire to stop him from fleeing with an Electronic Voting Machine at Nayakpura polling station.

In Khargone district of MP, a Congress worker identified as Kalu Yadav (38) was killed in a clash with BJP activists at Saadi village in Kasrawad constituency, said Additional SP Rajesh Dandotiya.

“Polling was brisk and peaceful, but for some stray incidents of violence — four in Bhind and three in Morena district, and one person each was injured in the two districts. As many as 30 persons were arrested for inciting violence in the two districts,” said Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi in Delhi.

The previous highest turnout in MP was 69.58 per cent in the 2008 Assembly election, while it was 82.35 per cent in Mizoram.

Govind said polling in three Maoist-affected constituencies in Balaghat district was held under tight security, and choppers were also used. He added that an average 70 per cent polling was witnessed in MP.

The CEO said polling was boycotted in some polling stations in 10 districts by people who resented lack of construction of roads in their areas.

In Mizoram, over 81 per cent of polling was reported around 6 pm and was expected to go higher.

The fate of 142 candidates, including Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and his 11 ministers, was sealed in election to the 40-member Assembly.

For the first time in the country, a voter-verifiable paper audit trail system was tried in this election on a larger scale, in 10 constituencies. It was first experimented with in an Assembly bypoll in Nagaland in September.

All the seats are reserved for ST nominees, except Lunglei South, which is for general candidates.

An additional 31 companies of central para-military forces and police from neighbouring states were deployed to oversee the polls, apart from seven armed battalions of the state police.

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