Almost 60% voter turnout recorded in MP till 5 PM

Bhopal: Election officials leave after collecting VVPAT, EVMs and other polling materials from collection centres ahead of the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls, in Bhopal, Saturday, May 11, 2019 (PTI Photo) (PTI5_11_2019_000030B)

Total 59.96 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm on Sunday in eight Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, an official said.

Voting was underway since 7.00 am in Bhopal, Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha and Rajgarh constituencies in the third phase of elections in the state.

Rajgarh recorded the highest polling at 68.15 per cent, followed by Vidisha 65.31 per cent, Guna 64.80 per cent, Bhopal 60.95 per cent, Sagar 60.42 per cent, Gwalior 56.03 per cent, Morena 54.36 per cent and Bhind 50.82 per cent, the official said.

Long queues were witnessed at several polling booths throughout the day, Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said.

In Bhopal, Congress veteran Digvijay Singh is locked in a battle with BJP candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur.

Digvijay Singh could not cast his vote as he is a registered voter of his hometown Raghogarh in Rajgarh Lok Sabha seat.

Thakur exercised her franchise in the morning at a polling booth in Rivera Town area in the state capital.

Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is seeking re-election from Guna seat, cast his vote at a booth early in the morning in Gwalior, a party spokesman said.

Scindia is locked in a battle with BJP's K P Yadav, who is contesting his first Lok Sabha election.

Former state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family members exercised their franchise at their native village Jait, which falls under the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat.

Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the sitting MP from Gwalior, is in the fray from Morena seat this time.

Altogether 138 candidates are in the fray for the eight Lok Sabha seats, of which seven were won by the BJP in 2014.

There were 30 nominees in Bhopal, 25 in Morena, 18 each in Bhind and Gwalior, 13 each in Guna and Vidisha, 11 in Rajgarh and 10 in Sagar, Rao said.

"Total 18,141 polling booths were set up where over 1.44 crore people, including 32,909 service voters, were eligible to exercise their franchise," he said.

Over 45,000 security personnel were deployed for the smooth conduct of the polls.

Lok Sabha elections to 29 seats in the state are being held in four phases. The first (six seats) and second phases (seven seats) were held on April 29 and May 6.

Voting for the last phase in eight seats of Madhya Pradesh will be held on May 19 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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