MP Polls: Voting Begins, BJP looking for fourth term, Congress eyeing comeback

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Polling to elect 230 member assembly in Madhya Pradesh began Wednesday morning where the ruling BJP and opposition Congress are fighting for supremacy.

Polling across on 227 seats out of 230 will be held between 8 am and 5 pm, while in three assembly segments – Lanji, Paraswada, and Baihar – in the Naxal-affected Balaghat district, voting time is between 7 am to 3 pm.

The Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP) under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is eyeing a fourth straight term in the state, while the Congress is hoping for a comeback in the state after 15 in the state. Opinions Polls have suggested a stive competition between both the major parties of the state.

The battle of ballots in Madhya Pradesh is just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls slated in the first half of 2019. That is the reason many Political Scholars is considering the Madhya Pradesh Election as the semi-final before the mega battle of Lok Sabha 2019.

As many as 2,899 candidates, including 1,094 independents, are in the electoral race for the 230 seats, but the main contest is between the Congress and BJP — the Biggies in Madhya Pradesh Elections.

The state has 5.04 crore eligible voters. According to the final electoral roll, the state has 5,04,95,251 voters – 2,63,01,300 males, 2,41,30,390 females, 1,389 third gender and 62,172 postal electors.

State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V L Kantha Rao in a Press Conference on Tuesday said that ‘Around 3,00,782 government employees, including 45,904 women, have been deployed on poll duty across the state, where 65,341 polling stations have been set up.

The CEO said 17,000 of these polling booths have been declared ‘sensitive’ and additional vigil will be maintained there.

As many as 1.80 lakh security personnel, including those drawn from central paramilitary forces, have been deployed to ensure free and fair poll, he said.

Rao said 78,870 EVMs will be used during the poll.

“Special measures have been taken for sensitive booths. Webcasting will be held from 6,500 polling stations, while videography will be carried out at 4,600 booths,” he said.

Madhya Pradesh is one of the five states which are going for polls apart from- Rajasthan and Telangana-where polling is slated for December 7, Chhattisgarh went to polling on November 12 and November 20 in two phases, while Mizoram is also polling to elect the new 40 member assembly on November 28, today. The results of all five poll-bound state will be announced on December 11.

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