Madhya Pradesh: Sporadic violence mars single phase of polling
The polling which was started at 7 am and was scheduled to end at 6 pm, but the voting was on till the filing of the report due to long queues of voters at many booths.
BHOPAL: Around 76% voter turnout was reported in the single-phase Assembly polls to 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh on Friday. Though the figure was slightly lower than 72.69% in 2013 and 75.63% in 2018, the final turnout of the Friday’s election was likely to touch the previous figures, if not exceed them as reports of final poll percentage from many districts were yet to be updated.
The polling which was started at 7 am and was scheduled to end at 6 pm, but the voting was on till the filing of the report due to long queues of voters at many booths. While actual break-up of male and women voters turnout would be known by Saturday only, inputs from ground suggested enthusiastic response by women voters compared to male ones. The reports of high turnout of women voters, particularly in rural areas, prompted both the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress to derive their own conclusions.
Maximum 86% polling was reported from Sailana-ST seat of Ratlam district (89% was reported in 2018), followed by 84.17% in Khilchipur seat of Rajgarh district and 84.16% from Barghat seat of Seoni district, while the lowest polling of 50.41% was reported from Bhind seat of Bhind district. Around 51% polling was reported from Gwalior-South seat, while Jabalpur-Cantt seat saw 52% polling. While the three seats with highest voter turnout were all rural seats, the three with lowest voter turnouts were all predominantly urban seats.
On the district-wise level, the largely rural and agrarian dominant districts of western MP, including Agar-Malwa, Neemuch and Shajapur, reported turnout between 80% and 81%, while the lowest voter turnout districts (56%-59% voting) included Alirajpur, Bhind and state capital Bhopal.
Sporadic incidents of clashes between supporters of various candidates, particularly the BJP, Congress and the BSP were reported from Gwalior-Chambal and Bundelkhand regions. Barely hours before the polling began, a close aide of Congress MLA Vikram Singh ‘Natiraja’ (also the Congress candidate) was allegedly murdered at around 3 am during clashes with BJP supporters in Rajnagar constituency of Chhatarpur district of Bundelkhand.
Incidents of firing, stone-pelting reported
Incidents of firing and stone-pelting were also reported from some parts of the Gwalior-Chambal region, including Dimani constituency of Morena district, where Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar is the candidate. Similar reports came from Mehgaon and Bhind seats.