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73.6 pc voter turnout in MP's 6 Lok Sabha seats amid EVM snags


Press Trust of India Bhopal
A high voter turnout of 73.61 per cent was recorded in the six Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh that went to the polls Monday amid EVM glitches in some areas, an official said.
A total of 1.05 crore people were eligible to vote in the six seats, of which an estimated 73.61 per cent per cent exercised their franchise, the Election Commission (EC) said in its update provided at 10 pm.
The Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency, where Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son, Nakul, is in the fray as the Congress candidate, topped in turnout at 80.53 per cent.
Chhindwara was followed by Naxal-hit Balaghat (76.96 per cent), Mandla (76.90 per cent), Shahdol (75.04 per cent), Jabalpur (69.37 per cent) and Sidhi (64.16 per cent).
In the bypoll to the Chhindwara assembly segment, from where Nath is contesting, voter turnout stood at 65.15 per cent.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V L Kantha Rao said during a mock poll (which takes place ahead of polling), electronic voting machines (EVMs) were replaced at 207 booths due to some glitches.
However, the polling started on time after the machines were replaced, he added.
EVMs were also replaced at 106 polling booths due to malfunctioning after the voting began, Rao said.
At two places under the Sidhi constituency, locals threatened to boycott polling, but officials persuaded them to vote, he said to a question.
Asked about BJP candidate from Sidhi, Riti Pathak, reportedly receiving a threat, Rao said, "The district collector has been asked to take action."

No further details about the incident were available immediately, officials said.
In Naxal-affected Baiher, Lanjhi and Paraswada Assembly segments under the Balaghat parliamentary seat, polling was held from 7 am to 4 pm.
Elsewhere, the voting time was from 7 am to 6 pm.
Madhya Pradesh has 29 Lok Sabha seats and the remaining ones will vote on May 6, 12 and 19.
Chief Minister Nath was among the early ones to cast his vote. The CM, along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law exercised his franchise at a polling booth in the Shikapur area of Chhindwara.
Power supply tripped briefly when the chief minister and his family members were inside the polling booth, election micro-observer Narendra Singh Sisodia told PTI.
A total 108 of candidates are in the fray in the six Lok Sabha seats, including maximum 26 in Sidhi, followed by Balaghat-23, Jabalpur-22, Chhindwara-14, Shahdol-13 and Mandla-10.
Nine candidates are trying their luck in the Chhindwara Assembly bypoll.
In 2014, riding on the 'Modi wave', the BJP had won five of these six Lok Sabha seats.
Nath had won from his bastion Chhindwara, where his son Nakul Nath is the party candidate this time for the Lok Sabha polls.
After taking over as chief minister following Congress' victory in the last year's Assembly polls, Nath needs to get elected to the state Legislature within six months.
Congress MLA Deepak Saxena quit the Chhindwara Assembly seat to make a way for him.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 11:50 PM IST

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