Bhopal, Nov 17 (PTI) A voter turnout of 45.4 per cent was recorded till 1 pm in Madhya Pradesh, where polling began on Friday morning for the 230-member assembly.
There are 2,533 candidates in the fray, including political heavyweights like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his predecessor and rival Kamal Nath.
Till 1 pm, 45.4 per cent of electors cast their votes in the state, a poll official said.
Polling began at 7 am across all 230 constituencies, including 47 reserved for ST and 35 for the SC, in the state, the official said.
Prominent among those who voted early include Chouhan and his family, Nath along with his family, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Prahlad Patel, state BJP president VD Sharma, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya home minister Narottam Mishra, sports and youth welfare minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia, industries minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon and state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anupam Rajan.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and his son and former minister Jaivardhan Singh, who is contesting from Raghogarh, also cast their ballots along with family members.
Former minister Ajay Singh also cast his vote in the Churhat constituency as the polling gained momentum in the state.
Women were seen standing in queues for voting at various polling booths in the state including Hoshangabad, an eyewitness said.
Voting will continue till 6 pm in all the polling stations except those in Naxalite-affected areas of Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori districts where it will end at 3 pm, the official said.
A total of 64,626 polling stations have been set up in the state. Among these, 64,523 are main booths and 103 associate (sahayak) stations, where the number of electors is more than 1,500, the official said.
As many as 5,60,58,521 voters, including 2,87,82,261 males, 2,71,99,586 females and 1,292 third-gender persons, are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The total number of voters also includes service and overseas electors, the official informed. A total of 2,533 candidates of political parties and independents 2,280 males, 252 females and a third-gender person are vying to enter the state assembly. PTI MAS NR
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Source: The Print