New Delhi: The Election Commission announced that the voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections on Wednesday was at a record 75 per cent, a significant rise from 72.7% back in 2013 when the state last voted. In Mizoram however, the provisional number fell to 75% from 83.4% recorded in the previous edition of assembly elections here.
All eyes were on the key state of Madhya Pradesh where BJP has had a 15-year-run in power. Incumbent CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan - contesting from Budhni - put up a confident face and said that he is sure of returning to office for yet another term. "I am 100 per cent sure that BJP will come to power for the fourth time and will have absolute majority. We have set a target of 200 seats this time and lakhs of volunteers are working to achieve this goal," he said.
As many as 2,899 candidates, including 1,094 independents, are in the fray for the 230 seats, but the main contest is between the Congress and BJP. The issue of EVMs allegedly malfunctioning was also brought up through the course of the day. "There have been many complaints of EVMs malfunctioning, have written to Election Commission," said senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The EC, on its part, said that over 100 EVMs had to be replaced.
Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh, VL Kantha Rao: 883 ballot units and 881 control units were replaced today. 2126 VVPATs were replaced during mock poll and during voting. #MadhyaPradeshElections pic.twitter.com/cQx0TIvDTd
— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2018
Incidents of violence and deaths too were reported. SP worker Dipak Singh Kushwaha, a supporter of party candidate Narendra Singh Kushwaha, opened fire at a polling booth in Panchayat office. He was arrested by local cops. An Election Commission official in Guna and two others in Indore passed away due to cardiac arrest. A compensation of Rs 10 lakh was announced.
Over in Mizoram, voting happened under a tight security cover for the 40-member assembly. The Congress is hoping to blunt the challenge put up by Mizo National Front even as the BJP tries to create in-roads in the state. While Congress and MNF candidates contested in all 40 constituencies, BJP fought in 39.
The EC said that polling was completely peaceful and barring sporadic incidents of VVPAT machines malfunctioning, there was no impediment. Interestingly, Deputy Additional Chief Electoral Officer CC Lalchhuangkina said that 25% of the 7.68 lakh voters here had already cast their vote by 10am.
The results of the elections in MP, Mizoram as well as in states like Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh would be declared on December 11. While Chhattisgarh has already voted, Rajasthan and Telangana will vote on December 7.