Voting has begun for single phase Assembly Elections in Madhya Pradesh and second and final phase of polling in Chhattisgarh. In Madhya Pradesh, voting began at 7 in the morning and will conclude at 6 pm. However in Baihar, Lanji and Parswara Assembly seats of Balaghat district and some booths of Mandla and Dindori districts voting will conclude at 3 pm.
Voting for single phase elections in all 230 Assembly constituencies is being held at more than 64 thousand booths. Out of these, 5 thousand 160 are ‘Pink booths’ managed by women staffers, while 183 are managed by Divyanjan and 371 booths are by youth. The fate of 2 thousand 533 candidates, including 252 women, will be decided in this poll by around 5 crore 60 lakh voters.
Prominent candidates in the fray are, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Kailash Vjayvargiya from BJP, while from Congress, former Chief Minister Kamalnath, senior leader Dr Govind Singh, Jitu Patwari and Jayavardhan Singh are some of the prominent names.
700 companies of central forces along with 2 lakh police personnel of the state have been deployed for security during the poll.
Chief Electoral Officer Anupam Rajan appealed to the voters in the state to take active participation in strengthening the Indian democracy
In Chhattisgarh, voting for seventy seats started at 8 o’clock in the morning except for in nine polling stations of Bindranavagarh Assembly constituency where it began at 7 am. Voters are queuing up to cast their vote at some polling stations since morning, most of them being senior citizens. The Election Commission had made special arrangements for four thousand four hundred sixteen voters who are above 80 years of age and disabled. These voters had cast their vote through postal ballot. Voter assistance booths have also been set up at every polling station, where BLOs will help voters to find their name and number in the electoral roll. Arrangements have also been made to provide updated information of voting percentage through the Election Commission’s mobile application ‘Voter Turnout App’. Sector Magistrates are visiting polling stations for smooth voting.
More than 18 thousand 800 polling stations have been set up, out of these, 700 are Sangwari polling stations, where only women polling personnel will be deployed. 958 candidates are in the fray in this phase. The BJP and the Congress are contesting on all seventy seats. Talking to Akashwani News, Chief Electoral Officer Reena Kangale said, tight security arrangements have been made to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling. She said, apart from the local police, central security forces are also being deployed.