Around 5 million people of 9 Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh sealed the fate of 118 candidates under the first phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections on Thursday. The polling which began at a rather slow pace ended in the evening with 52.80 percent voter turnout.
Voting took place in Rewa, Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat, Chhindwara and Hoshangabad, with rest of the total 29 constituencies set to go to polls on April 17, 24.
The polling took place at 16,592 stations, where 20,204 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were placed in order to allow around 11 million people to exercise their right to vote. As many as 1,32,736 officials were put on poll duty.
While Chhindwara saw a voter turnout of 56.84 percent, only 27 people out of a population of 606 in NavalVillage in Narsinghpur turned up to vote as the villagers decided to boycott the polls over poor condition of roads.
Till 12 noon, around 21 percent women and 25 percent men had cast their vote. Polling in Maoist-infested Balaghat was conducted amid high security and aerial monitoring. A high alert was sounded in the area.
Reports of technical glitch in the EVMs came up from Dindori and Narsinghpur. Trouble was also reported from Satna as ADM Abhijeet Agarwal allegedly tore off the voters’ list. The matter was reported to the Election Commission.
In order to encourage voting, Mandla authorities offered a pink greeting card to the first female voter at every booth while a yellow card to first male voter.
Union Minister Kamal Nath and Congress candidate from Chhindwara visited a polling station early in the morning and cast his vote. Talking to the media, he expressed confidence in winning the polls as he said that people would vote for Congress. Kamal Nath is contesting against BJP candidate Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh.
Bollywood actor Ashutosh Rana, BJP MLA Girish Gautam cast their votes in Narsinghpur, Rewa respectively. Congress candidate Vivek Tankha, BJP candidate Rakesh Singh from Jabalpur cast their votes.