BHOPAL: A middle-aged polling officer died of brain haemorrhage in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni district – where polling is scheduled for Monday,
Amit Pancheshwar, an employee at a government school in Seoni, was getting ready to leave for poll duty in Lakhnadaun assembly segment of Mandla Lok Sabha seat along with other members of his team on Sunday morning, after collecting the EVMs and VVPATs from the strong-room at Seoni district collectorate, when he suddenly started vomiting and fell unconscious.
“Before the doctors could rush to attend to him, Amit breathed his last. Preliminary reports suggest that he died due to brain haemorrhage,” Chief Electoral Officer of Madhya Pradesh (CEO-MP) VL Kantha Rao said in Bhopal.
While maintaining that all preparations have been made for voting in the state's six parliamentary constituencies, including Chhindwara, Sidhi, Mandla, Balaghat, Jabalpur and Shahdol, besides the simultaneous by-election in Chhindwara assembly seat, the CEO-MP said, “We expect a 10% increase in voter turnout, despite the rising heat, on the lines of the 2009 and 2014 turnouts. In 2009, the voter turnout of these six seats was around 54%, which jumped to 64% five years later. We’re hopeful of the trend continuing this year also with another significant jump in polling percentage.”
A total of 108 candidates are in the fray for the six Lok Sabha seats and nine candidates are contesting the assembly by-election to Chhindwara seat, which forms part of Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency only.
Out of the six LS seats going to polls on Monday, two seats are situated in Naxal affected Balaghat and Mandla districts, owing to which two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have been deployed for aerial monitoring of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas. In Balaghat district, which houses Balaghat LS seat, in three assembly segments Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar, the voting will take place between 7 am and 4 am, while on remaining segments the voting will take place from 7 am and 6 pm. An Air Ambulance has been stationed at Jabalpur for dealing with any medical emergency.
More than 1.05 crore voters will exercise their franchise at 13,941 polling centers in the six LS seats, out of which 2515 centers have been categorized as critical. As many as 332 areas have been identified as vulnerable and over 900 individuals identified as those who can influence the polls. Sector officials vested with magisterial powers have been tasked with keeping a vigil on these vulnerable areas on the polling day.
In Balaghat LS seat, 23 candidates contesting, but prime contest between four candidates, Dhal Singh Bisen (BJP), Madhu Bhagat (Cong), Kankar Munjare (SP-BSP), Bodh Singh Bhagat (IND).
In Shahdol, 13 candidates in fray, but the real fight likely between Himadri Singh (BJP) and Pramila Singh (Cong).
Maximum 26 candidates in fray in Sidhi seat, but prime fight between Ajay Singh ‘Rahul’ (Cong) and Riti Pathak (BJP)
In Jabalpur, the main contest between Rakesh Singh (BJP) and Vivek Tankha (Cong), though 22 candidates in fray.
Mandla seat has minimum 10 candidates, but the main contest likely between Faggan Singh Kulaste (BJP) and Kamal Maravi (Cong)
In Chhindwara, MP CM’s son Nakul Nath (Cong) taking on Nathan Shah (BJP), even as 14 candidates are in fray.
In total 25 crorepati candidates in fray on six LS seats
Cash, drugs and other illegal items worth over Rs 10.45 crores seized so far in the six LS constituencies going to polls on Monday.
|Candidate||Seat||Assets (in crores)|
|Vivek Tankha (Cong)||Jabalpur||Rs 66 crores|
|Nakul Nath (Cong)||Chhindwara||Rs 660 crores|
|Ajay Singh (Cong)||Sidhi||Rs 37 crore|