Polling for nine seats in Madhya Pradesh largely peaceful

In the third phase of the Lok Sabha election in Madhya Pradesh, Rajgarh reported the highest turnout with 72.99% electors voting, while Bhind in the Chambal division recorded the lowest polling in the State at 52.91%

Updated - May 08, 2024 01:55 am IST

Published - May 07, 2024 10:51 pm IST - Bhopal

Voters wait to cast their votes for the third phase of Lok Sabha Polls in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, on May 07, 2024.

Voters wait to cast their votes for the third phase of Lok Sabha Polls in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, on May 07, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The nine seats in Madhya Pradesh — Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Rajgarh, Sagar, Vidisha, Bhopal and Betul — that voted in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election on Tuesday recorded an approximate turnout of 66.5%.

Rajgarh reported the highest turnout with 76.19% electors voting, while Bhind in the Chambal division recorded the lowest polling in the State at 55.44%, according to data shared the by State’s Chief Electoral Officer Anupam Rajan.

While voter turnout was less than 60% in Chambal region’s Bhind and Morena, Rajgarh, Guna, Vidisha and Betul reported more than 70% voting. Mr. Rajan said the average voter turnout in the nine seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election was 66.63%.

Lok Sabha polls 2024 | Follow LIVE updates from the polling on May 7, 2024

Among prominent candidates in the fray were former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the BJP candidate from Vidisha, former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, the Congress nominee from Rajgarh, Union Minister and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna and former Bhopal mayor Alok Sharma, the BJP candidate from Bhopal.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Rajan refuted Mr. Singh’s claims of EVM malfunctioning at some polling booths in Rajgarh. In a video message, Mr. Singh said, “In polling booth 24 in Chachaura (Assembly segment), 11 votes were cast but the machine is showing 50.” He alleged that one of his party workers had been detained by the police and BJP leaders “with more serious charges” were roaming free.

“The police is allowing BJP people to campaign within 100 metres (of the polling booths), while we are being beaten with batons and pushed away. We have complained about all these things,” he said.

Mr. Rajan said he spoke to the Guna District Collector and found out that no such incident took place.

While voting was peaceful in all nine constituencies, reports of a clash between supporters of two candidates over allegations of bogus voting emerged from a village in Bhind. A police official said four to five people were injured in the incident.

In Morena, the police kept several candidates, including BJP’s Shivmangal Singh Tomar, Congress’ Satyapal Singh Sikarwar and BSP’s Ramesh Garg, in preventive custody. They cast their votes in the evening.

A video from Morena showed a local Congress worker alleging that his family was attacked by BJP workers who tried to stop his family from voting. He accused the administration and the police of bias.

So far, 21 seats in Madhya Pradesh have gone to polls in the first three phases, while the remaining eight seats will vote in the fourth phase on May 13. The State has 29 Lok Sabha seats of which the BJP currently holds 28, while the Congress had won only one in 2019 — Chhindwara.

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