A turnout exceeding 74 per cent was recorded on Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh that witnessed single-phase voting across 230 assembly constituencies amid tight security.
The polling was peaceful barring a few stray incidents. The official timings were 0800-1700 hrs but queues were observed even later at about 250 polling centres as those who lined up prior to expiration of the deadline are permitted to exercise their franchise. Therefore the final percentage is likely to be higher. Three areas in Naxalism-affected Balaghat district witnessed voting between 0700-1500 hrs.
Three officials died on duty - one death each being reported from Dhar, Guna and Indore districts. The causes were health-related and included cardiac arrest. Compensation of Rs 10 lakh each will be handed over to the next of kin.
"No information was received regarding any boycott. A total 386 complaints were received and redressed forthwith. The state capital recorded a turnout of approximately 60 per cent. Balaghat's Paraswada, Lanji and Baihar witnessed 80.05, 79.07 and 78.05 per cent respectively, Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao told journalists during a press conference this evening.
Initial hiccups occurred in Satna and some other districts owing to malfunctioning electronic voting machines (EVMs). As many as 883 ballot units, 881 control units and 2,126 Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units were replaced.
The voter percentage in the 2013 assembly polls was 72.66 per cent.
Our party shall form the next government in the state, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee President Kamal Nath told reporters at the Congress state headquarters.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat responded to Congress Campaign Committee Chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia's demand to extend polling time at centres where EVM glitches disrupted voting. Mr Rawat pointed out that provisions exist regarding such extension and local officers can take a call.
Mr Scindia had written to the CEC stating that no voter should be left out because EVMs were not in order.
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