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67% vote in MP, 70% in Chhindwara by-poll (Fourth Lead)


IANS Bhopal
Around 67 per cent voting was recorded in six parliamentary constituencies -- Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara -- and by-election for the Chhindwara Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, the state Election Commission sources said, here on Monday.
According to the official information, 66.92 per cent voters cast vote in the state. The Chhindwara parliamentary constituency recorded the highest 77 per cent voting, followed by Balaghat 70.42, Shahdol 68.76 per cent, Mandala 67.09 per cent and Jabalpur 64.05 per cent. The lowest 57.32 per cent polling was recorded in Sidhi.
For the by-election to the Chhindwara Assembly seat, 70.49 per cent electorate cast vote. Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who must get elected to the Assembly within six months of assuming office, is in the fray from here. The seat was vacated by Congress MLA Deepak Saxena for him. The BJP has fielded former Youth Congress activist Vivek Sahu against the Chief Minister.
In some places, officials had to replace electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail devices due to technical glitches.
Three government employees, including a woman, died in the last 48 hours while on poll duty, state Chief Electoral Officer V.L. Kantha Rao said.
Sunanda Kotekar (50), deployed at the Lodhikheda polling booth in the Saunsar segment of Chhindwara, died of cardiac arrest, even before she could be provided medical assistance.
While an Assistant Sub-Inspector died after suffering heart attack in the Sidhi district, another person succumbed to brain haemorrhage in Seoni in the Balaghat Lok Sabha constituency on Sunday evening, Rao said.
In Balaghat, Maoists allegedly set Independent candidate Kishore Samrite's vehicle on fire. Samrite claimed he was also held hostage for some time by them.
Barring the Maoist-affected Baiher, Lanji and Paraswada Assembly segments under the Balaghat parliamentary constituency, polling was conducted from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the Maoist-affected areas, polling was held between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
In 2014, the BJP had won 27 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Congress later reclaimed the Ratlam seat in by-election, taking its tally to three. Congress veteran Kamal Nath had won from his bastion Chhindwara in 2014, where his son Nakul Nath is the party candidate.
While the success in the Assembly elections held last year has boosted the confidence of the Congress, the BJP is banking on the Narendra Modi wave. To drive home the point, the BJP workers have distributed leaflets listing the Modi government's achievements, including the post-Pulwama show of might.
The Election Commission has barred political parties from using the armed forces' valour for electoral promotions.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 11:14 PM IST

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