Nearly 76% voter turnout in India’s Madhya Pradesh ruled by Modi’s BJP
The voting figure surpassed the 75 per cent recorded in 2018.
First-time voters and twin sisters Astha Pahwa (in front) along with Abha Pahwa, show ink marks on their fingers after casting votes during Madhya Pradesh assembly election in Jabalpur in the central Indian state on Friday, November 17, 2023. (ANI Photo)
A VOTER turnout of nearly 76 per cent was recorded in assembly elections in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Friday (17), a senior official said.
The voting figure surpassed the 75 per cent recorded in 2018. Polling was held for all 230 constituencies in a single phase on the same day.
“Voting was approximately 76 per cent. We are waiting for some details before coming out with the final figure which will take some time,” the state’s chief electoral officer, Anupam Rajan, told news agency Press Trust of India late at night.
Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of prime minister Narendra Modi. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of the state, has been its longest serving one — from 2005 till 2018 and from 2020 till date.
The Indian National Congress, which formed the government in Madhya Pradesh after the 2018 election, failed to survive in power after it lost its majority, paving the way for the BJP to return to power. It is now eyeing a return to power, with the next general elections just months away.
Friday’s polling in Madhya Pradesh was marred by violence in a few places. An aide of a Congress candidate was killed after two groups clashed in Rajnagar, police said.
Voting in the Maoist-affected Balaghat, Mandla, and Dindori districts ended at 3 pm local time while it continued till 6 pm in other parts of the state. Polling had begun at 7 am across all 230 constituencies that went to the polls on the same day.
The fates of 2,533 candidates, including Chouhan and his predecessor and state Congress chief Kamal Nath, were sealed in electronic voting machines.
In Jabalpur, city BJP unit president Prabhat Sahu alleged that Congress supporters attacked his party’s Jabalpur (East) candidate Anchal Sonkar, his son Ram Sonkar and two workers near Ramlila Maidan school. But police said they had not received any complaint.
State Congress chief Nath accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of distributing money and liquor to voters on the eve of the elections.
Results of the elections will be declared on December 3, along with those in the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.
(With PTI inputs)