Madhya Pradesh Election 2018 Voting Latest Updates: Altogether 65.5 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections Wednesday, just over seven per cent less than the figure in the previous polls.
In the 2013 Assembly election, 72.69 per cent turnout was recorded, an election official said.
The polling Wednesday was marred by complaints of faulty Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVVPAT) machines. Poll officials said 1,145 EVMs and 1,545 VVPATs were replaced after complaints of technical snags.
Voting was held between 8 am and 5 pm in 227 seats, while in three assembly segments in Naxal-affected Balaghat district – Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar – polling time was between from 7 am to 3 pm. (Live updates on Mizoram Assembly Election 2018)
The battle, which can be regarded as a ‘semi-final’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, will see a tough contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress. While the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government eyes a fourth straight term in office, the Congress is hoping to turn the tide in the state which was once its stronghold. Other parties in the fray are the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), alliance partners Samajwadi Party and Gondwana Gantantra Party (SP-GGP), and the Aam Admi Party (AAP).
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Altogether 2,899 candidates were in the fray. The state has 5.04 crore eligible voters. Also, 3,00,782 government employees, including 45,904 women, were on poll duty and 65,341 polling stations were set up.
The BJP is contesting all the 230 seats, while the Congress has fielded 229 candidates, leaving one seat, Jatara in Tikamgarh district, for its ally – Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD). On the other hand, the BSP has fielded 227 candidates, while the SP is contesting on 52 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), contesting the Madhya Pradesh elections for the first time, has fielded 208 candidates.
No Visible Wave For Any Party
An average of the several pre-poll surveys held in the recent months predicts 114 seats for the BJP, 106 for the Congress and 10 for others. This means a neck and neck neck fight can be expected in Madhya Pradesh with no visible wave for any of the parties.