As a part of its efforts to ensure a high voter turnout during the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections scheduled next week on November 28, the Election Commission has set up around 11, 000 new polling booths, maximum among all five poll-bound states, informed the state Chief Electoral Officer on Thursday.
In addition to new polling booths in the state, the state with 230 seats will now have a total of 65,000 polling booths compared to 53,000 in its last assembly elections of 2013 with an increase of 21 percent, said CEO V L Kantha Rao in an interview to a news agency.
The number of polling booths in other poll-bound states has an increased by 14 per cent in Rajasthan, by 11 percent in Telangana– the states that will go for polling on December 7 while the Mizoram where voting took place in two phases on November 12 and November 20, the number of polling booth rose by 10 percent this time.
He said, ‘ I can assure that with the increase in the number of polling booths nobody has to travel for more than 2 KM to cast his/her vote.’ ‘We are looking for a target of 80 percent voting in the upcoming polls compared to 72.66 percent of last time’ he added.
CEO V L Kantha Rao also informed that the state this time has witnessed the double amount of seizure since the model code of conduct has been imposed. The seizures made by the EC-appointed surveillance teams include over Rs 28.25 crore suspect cash, more than Rs 8.89 crore worth of gold and jewelry, over 5.22 lakh liters of liquor worth Rs 12.39 crore and over 63-kg of drugs worth Rs 5.49 crore, the CEO said.
Talking about the electoral roll, he said a total of 6 lakh new voters have been added to the electoral rolls and the number of registered women voters has also gone up. As a result, the CEO said, there are 917 women per 1,000 men in the electoral list now as compared to 898 females per 1,000 males during the last polls. The state has 5.05 crore voters out of an estimated population of 7.5 crore people.
To run an awareness campaign, the EC has almost doubled its budget from 14 crores to 27 crores this time.
Moreover, to ensure that the electoral process goes smoothly without any technological glitches, 10 percent of fresh EVMs will be with sector officers.
The campaigning in the state will come to a halt on November 26. People will press EVMs to choose the new assembly on November 28, with results announcing on December 11 along with other State Assembly elections.