Thousands of voters reject all candidates in Madhya Pradesh

May 2nd, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, May 2 (IANS) Over 4,000 voters left polling booths without casting their ballots since they did not want to support any of the candidates in the two-phase parliamentary election in Madhya Pradesh, an official said here Saturday.
While 1,473 voters rejected all candidates in the first phase of polling April 23, the number of such voters in the second phase stood at 2,608, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer J.S. Mathur told IANS.

These voters came to the polling booths, got their names registered and then left without exercising their franchise.

Section 49-0 of the Conduct of Election Rules allows a person to register his or her presence at the polling centre and then not vote for any candidate. Such votes are recorded by the presiding officer and are considered as negative votes or rejection of all candidates.

“The objective of the section was to tally the votes cast and total ballots found in a box when voting was not held using electronic machines,” said Mathur.

The highest number of people using this provision in the second phase was in the Ratlam constituency at 755.

The highest number of such cases in the first phase was in Khajuraho constituency at 712. Incidentally, the seat also recorded the lowest voter turnout at 43.21 percent.

The main candidates in Ratlam were Dilip Singh Bhuria of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Kantilal Bhuri of the Congress and Mahendra Mandloi of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

In Khajuraho, the fight was mainly between Jitendra Pratap Bundela of the BJP and Raja Pateria of the Congress.

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