Amid Faulty EVMs, MP Records 75% Voter Turnout; Kamal Nath Says ‘Surprising Result’ in Offing
As many as 883 ballot units were replaced following snags while 881 central units had to be changed and 2126 VVPATs were replaced across the state.
Muslim women show their fingers marked with indelible ink after casting votes for the Assembly elections, outside a polling station in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018. (PTI Photo)
Bhopal: Even as the Congress cried foul over reported snags in the EVMs and linked devices, Madhya Pradesh saw around 75% polling on Wednesday — up by around 3% since last time when the state recorded 72% voter turnout in the 2013 Assembly polls.
“As of 6pm, the state has recorded 74.61% voting,” Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao told the media, adding the voters who entered the polling booths before 5pm but could not cast vote were standing in queues and their votes would be added to the tally later.
The polling was by and large peaceful without any violence and untoward incidents, said the officer.
As many as 883 ballot units were replaced following snags while 881 central units had to be changed and 2126 VVPATs were replaced across the state, Rao said. According to him, the replacements were fewer than the ones in the recently held Karnataka polls.
In Bhopal, 53 ballot units, 74 VVPATs and 45 Control Units were replaced at polling booths in Bhopal, the CEO said.
Also, the polling was delayed at several polling booths across the state after voting machines could not function properly.
In Naxal-affected Balaghat, the Lanjhi seat recorded 79% voting, Paraswada 80%, while Baihar saw 78% voter turnout and the polling concluded by 3pm in the remote areas.
Congress state chief Kamal Nath demanded repolling in booths where voting was halted for three hours or more. Based on the reports coming in, Nath said there is a possibility of a "very surprising result".
"Aaj ke chunaav ki khaasiyat ye hai ki 2 cheezein shanti se nipat gayi, ek to chunaav aur doosra BJP (Two impressive thing about today was that two things ended peacefully: first, the polls and second, the BJP)," said Kamal Nath.
On the re-polling demands from across the state, Rao said the candidates could submit applications to the Returning Officer and they would be forwarding all those pleas to the Election Commission for the final decision on the matter.
The Commission received over 3,000 complaints through CVigil app and out of these, 1000 of them were found to be fake and the rest of them are being looked into, the CEO further added.
Meanwhile, Bhind district reported many cases of violent clashes during polling as locals reportedly fired shots in the air and also captured the polling booth in Village Machhand. The miscreants damaged the EVMs in Raipura area and the polling was disrupted for a while at these places.
The polling in the morning had started on a positive note but the voters’ turnout went down as the day progressed but the tempo somehow was maintained till 5pm.
Poll boycott was witnessed at several places, including Satna, but the election commission officers denied having reports of these incidents. Close to 5.04 crore voters voted to decide the fate of 2899 candidates on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, MPCC head Kamal Nath, Jyotiraidtya Scindia, Digvijaya Singh and other senior leaders exercised their franchise at their respective polling booths.
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