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MP registers 70 per cent polling

Briefing reporters after polling, Madhya Pradesh chief electoral officer Jaideep Govind said there was firing in the air at some places in Lahar constituency in Bhind district but said there was no possibility of a re-poll.

‘Polling was brisk and peaceful but for some stray incidents of violence - four in Bhind and three in Morena district and one person each was injured in the two districts. As many as 30 persons were arrested for inciting violence in the two districts,’ Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi said in Delhi. The previous high turn-out in MP was 69.58 per cent in the 2008 assembly elections.

Govind said polling in three Maoist-affected constituencies in Balaghat district was held was held under tight security and choppers were also used, he said, adding an average 70 per cent polling was witnessed.

The CEO said polling had been boycotted in some polling stations in 10 districts by people who were angry with lack of construction of roads in their areas. An EVM was broken by a crowd in Chowrai but was replaced and voting resumed after a gap.

An electronic voting machine (EVM) was damaged in Bhind while one was taken away by thugs in Morena, a region known once upon a time as bandit country. A similar incident was reported in Seoni district, said Govind.

With 2,586 candidates in the fray, the main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, contesting from his traditional Budhni constituency as well as from Vidisha, is confident of winning another five-year term.

He told the media before voting in his village in Sehore district that his dream was to make Madhya Pradesh a developed state.

Urban development minister Kamal Nath asserted that the Congress would win at least 140 seats ‘as people want to be free of the corrupt BJP regime’. He was speaking to reporters after voting in Chhindwara constituency.

Among the prominent BJP candidates are former chief minister Babulal Gaur (Govindpura constituency in Bhopal), minister Kailash Vijayvargiya (Mhow in Indore) and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew Anoop Mishra (Bhitarvar in Gwalior).

BJP’s Yashodara Raje Scindia is contesting against her nephew and union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, projected as the Congress’ unofficial chief ministerial candidate, from Shivpuri in Gwalior.
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