Mere 31 percent turnout in Madhya Pradesh elections (Third Lead)

November 27th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Nov 27 (IANS) Just about 31 percent polling was recorded up to 2 p.m. with sporadic incidents of violence and complaints of electoral code violations disrupting polling at a few places in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections Thursday. The daring terror strikes in the country’s commercial capital Mumbai also cast their shadow on the state which was put on high alert with an extra security ring even as Wednesday night’s attacks continued through Thursday.

Polling is being held for 230 seats and there are 36,054,207 eligible voters, who can exercise their franchise franchise at 42,317 polling stations.

Polling was disrupted for an hour at Lahar constituency’s Tejpura village in Bhind district after two armed miscreants damaged the electronic voting machine (EVM) and six unidentified miscreants terrorised people by firing five rounds in the air, police said.

The incident occurred immediately after polling started, Sub Divisonal Officer (Police) Mahadev Prasad Sharma said, adding that polling resumed one hour later when the EVM was replaced.

Police sources said a convoy of Congress candidate from Damoh Chandrabhan Singh was allegedly attacked by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at Imalia in Damoh. In his complaint to the police, Singh alleged that he reached Imalia on being informed that liquor was being distributed by his opponents to influence voters. He claimed he was attacked and his vehicle ransacked by BJP workers.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Shrivastava said: “Thirty-one percent polling has been recorded till 2 p.m. This includes 33 percent by male voters and 29 percent female voters”.

“We have received reports of EVMs being broken by miscreants in Bhind, Shivpuri and Datia, but this has not been confirmed. Polling was interrupted at some places in Indore and Ujjain divisions due to power tripping but was restored soon,” Shrivastava said.

He added that polling had to be halted briefly at Burhanpur, Badwani, Bhind, Guna and Datia due to the malfunctioning of EVMs. The polling booths were reopened after the machines were replaced.

There were also reports of women voters being beaten up by miscreants in Morena district, and firing and booth capturing from Mahagaon constituency in Bhind district.

In Raisen district, some BJP and Congress workers clashed over bogus voting at a polling centre in Mugalia village under Sanchi assembly segment but the situation was soon brought under control by sending additional forces, police said.

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