Assembly polls: Madhya Pradesh records 74.6% voter turnout, 73% vote in Mizoram as polling ends
Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao said 2,126 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were replaced during the polls.
Polling came to an end in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on Wednesday evening. Madhya Pradesh recorded a 74.61% voter turnout till 5 pm when polling closed. In Mizoram, around 73% cast their votes at the end of polling at 4 pm. Votes will be counted on December 11.
Mizoram voted to elect 40 constituencies, while Madhya Pradesh will elect a 230-member Assembly.
The Congress is in power in Mizoram. The BJP is eyeing a fourth straight term in office in Madhya Pradesh, with the Congress hopeful of making a comeback in a state once considered its stronghold.
Polling in Madhya Pradesh was marred by malfunctioning voter machines. At least 1,145 Electronic Voting Machines and 2,126 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were replaced in the state during the day. Three election employees died in the state while on duty.
8.24 pm: “I had said that we will win more than 140 seats but after today’s voting [and] with all the information coming in, there is a possibility of a very surprising result,” says Kamal Nath. “The uniqueness about today’s elections is that two things concluded peacefully – the polls and BJP,” Nath says.
8.20 pm: Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath says he has demanded that re-polling be conducted at polling booths where voting was stopped for three hours or more, reports ANI. “Merely saying that polling will be extended till 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock is not right.”
6.11 pm: In Madhya Pradesh, at least 1,145 Electronic Voting Machines were replaced following complaints of technical snags, reports PTI quoting election officials. Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao says 2,126 voter verifiable paper audit trail machines were replaced during the polls, reports ANI.
6.07 pm: Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra says 73% votes were cast in Mizoram, reports PTI. The highest voter turnout of 81% was recorded in Serchhip constituency, from where Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla is contesting.
5.32 pm: Madhya Pradesh records 65.5% turnout as polling ends, reports PTI quoting an election official.
5.23 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says providing faulty Electronic Voting Machines were a ploy to manipulate people’s votes, reports IANS.
“I am hearing since morning that several EVM machines used in Madhya Pradesh polls are faulty,” she says. “We all understand these plans. These are attempts to manipulate people’s vote for own advantage.” She said she will raise her concerns on faulty EVMs at a meeting of Opposition parties to be held in Delhi next month.
5.06 pm: Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra says 71% votes cast at the end of polling, reports PTI.
5 pm: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla says he is confident that the Congress will retain power in the state, reports Northeast Now. “I will come with a full majority,” he says, according to ANI.
4.27 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao says 745 electronic voting machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were replaced on Wednesday, reports PTI. Rao made the announcement after Congress leaders complained about malfunctioning EVMs.
3.40 pm: In Madhya Pradesh, 50% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm, according to ANI.
3.38 pm: Mizoram records voter turnout of 58% till 3 pm, ANI reports.
1.40 pm: Mizoram records a voter turnout of 49% till 1 pm, according to ANI.
1.35 pm: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat says a few complaints of malfunction of some Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines were received, ANI reports.
“They have been replaced,” he says. “If it is observed that voters left due to malfunction, we can consider re-polling at that particular polling station.”
1.30 pm: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat says local officers can decide if polling time needs to be extended due to malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines.
12.30 pm: Bhind district administration has asked both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress candidates from Ater assembly constituency to remain alert after violence was reported from a polling booth, according to the Hindustan Times.
BJP’s Arvind Bhadoriya and Hemant Katare of the Congress have been asked to stay back at the local circuit house as a precautionary measure.
12.28 pm: Voting has been halted in Bhind district’s Raipura Lahar assembly constituency after two Electronic Voting Machines were reportedly damaged, along with the tehsildar’s vehicle. Police personnel are present at the spot.
12.20 pm: Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia says he has written to the Election Commission after several complaints about malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines, according to ANI. “I have requested that voting time in these polling booths should be extended to compensate for the delay,” he says.
State Congress president Kamal Nath demands repoll tomorrow in areas where the machines malfunctioned, according to the Hindustan Times.
12.15 pm: Voter turnout of 21% has been recorded in Madhya Pradesh till 11 am, ANI reports.
11.45 am: Mizoram has recorded a voter turnout of 29% till 11 am, ANI reports.
11.30 am: Madhya Pradesh has recorded a voter turnout of 6.32% till 9 am, according to PTI.
11.29 am: The election panel has announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the officials’ families, according to ANI.
11.10 am: Congress candidate from Bhopal South-West constituency PC Sharma is on a dharna, according to the Hindustan Times. He is demanding a change of Electronic Voting Machines after reports of several malfunctions.
According to Chief Electoral Officer V Kantha Rao, around 100 machines have been changed all over the state.
11 am: Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia says the party will form the government “with the blessings of the people” after the results are declared on December 11, according to ANI.
10.40 am: An Election Commission official died earlier in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna, while two others passed away in Indore, ANI reports. All three died of cardiac arrest.
10 am: The police have registered cases against Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani district after election-related clashes, according to the Hindustan Times. Two vehicles were reportedly set ablaze in Jhapdi Padla village of Sendhwa town.
9.45 am: The Madhya Pradesh Police have seized campaign material from Bharatiya Janata Party polling agents in Bhopal as it was within 200 m of a polling booth, ANI reports. One person has been taken into custody.
9.34 am: Mizoram records a voter turnout of 15% till 9 am, ANI reports.
9.30 am: Election officials in Madhya Pradesh have so far replaced two faulty electronic voting machines each in Ujjain and Burhanpur, according to ANI. Eleven Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines in Alirajpur and five of them in Burhanpur have also been changed.
9.26 am: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expresses confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party will form the government in the state with an absolute majority, according to ANI.
“We have set a target of 200 seats and our lakhs of volunteers are working to make it a reality,” Chouhan says after casting his vote in Budhni.
9.20 am: Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah urges Mizoram to vote in large numbers and lay the foundation for a prosperous state.
9.18 am: Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao says 65,341 polling stations have been set up across the state, according to PTI. Of these, 17,000 have been declared “sensitive” and extra vigil will be maintained there.
“Special measures have been taken for sensitive booths,” says Rao. “Webcasting will be held from 6,500 polling stations, while videography will be carried out at 4,600 booths.”
9.15 am: The Election Commission has classified 47 of the 1,179 polling booths in Mizoram as “critical” and an equal number as “vulnerable”, PTI reports. Each constituency has one polling booth for the exclusive use of women voters, with women officials and security personnel.
9 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges the electorate in both states to turn out in large numbers and vote.
8.40 am: Madhya Pradesh Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia and Congress leader Kamal Nath have cast their votes in Shivpuri and Chhindwara, respectively.
8.36 am: There are reports of a non-functional electronic voting machine at polling booth number 178 in Gwalior district’s Dabra, in Madhya Pradesh.
8 am: While polling for 227 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh is set to begin at 8 am, voting for three constituencies is already on, ANI reports.
7.15 am: Voting for 40 constituencies begins in Mizoram and will end at 4 pm, according to ANI.