Around 50.3 per cent of 1.44 crore voters exercised their franchise till 3 pm on Sunday in eight Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh, an official said.

Voting was underway since 7 am in Bhopal, Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Vidisha and Rajgarh constituencies in the third phase of elections in the state, Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao said.

“During mock poll conducted before the actual voting began, 30 to 40 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were changed because of some technical problems,” he said.

Till 3 pm, Rajgarh seat recorded the highest 59 per cent polling, followed by Guna-57.4 per cent, Vidisha-54.72 per cent, Bhopal-51.06 per cent, Sagar-50.28 per cent, Gwalior 46.66 per cent, Bhind 44.12 per cent and Morena-40.56 per cent, he said.

Long queues were seen at several polling booths across the eight constituencies, he added.

In Bhopal, Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh is contesting against BJP candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Thakur.

Singh is a registered voter of his hometown Raghogarh in Rajgarh Lok Sabha seat.

Thakur exercised her franchise in the morning at a polling booth in Rivera Town area in the state capital.

Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is seeking a re-election from Guna seat, cast his vote at a booth early in the morning in Gwalior, a party spokesman said.

Former state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family members exercised their franchise at their native village Jait, which falls under the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat.

Altogether 138 candidates are in the fray for these eight seats, of which seven were won by the BJP in 2014.

Total 18,141 polling booths have been set up where over 1.44 crore people, including 32,909 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise, he said.

Lok Sabha elections for 29 seats in the state are being held in four phases.

The first (in six seats) and second phases (seven seats) were held on April 29 and May 6.

Voting for the last phase in eight seats of the state will be held on May 19 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.