Amid Congress’ claim that some EVMs malfunctioned, Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday witnessed around 75 per cent turnout in the Assembly polls — 3 per cent higher than that in the last Assembly elections in 2013.
Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao told the media, “Till 6 pm, the State has recorded 75 per cent polling. This may increase, as polling in several areas was still on.”
He said 883 ballot units were replaced following snags, while 881 central units had to be changed and 2,126 VVPATs were replaced across the State. In Bhopal, 53 ballot units, 74 VVPATs and 45 control units were replaced, Rao said. The replacements were fewer than those in the recent Karnataka polls.
The polling was delayed at several polling booths after voting machines could not function properly.
In Naxal-hit Balaghat, the Lanjhi seat recorded 79 per cent voting, Paraswada 80 per cent while Baihar saw 78 per cent voter turnout and the polling concluded by 3pm in the remote area.
On the demands for re-polling, Rao said candidates could submit applications to Returning Officers and they would be forwarding all those pleas to the Election Commission for the final decision on the matter.
The commission received over 3,000 complaints through CVigil app; out of these, 1,000 were found fake and the rest of them are being looked into.
Rao said although the polling was by and large peaceful, Bhind district reported many cases of violent clashes during polling as locals reportedly fired in the air and captured a polling booth in Machhand village. The miscreants damaged the EVMs in Raipura and polling was disrupted for a while.
However, Rao denied these allegations and said no incident of booth capturing was reported.
The polling in the morning had started on a positive note but the voters’ turnout went down as the day progressed but the tempo somehow was maintained till 5pm.
Poll boycott was witnessed at several places, including Satna, but the Election Commission officers denied having reports of these incidents. Close to 5.04 crore voters voted to decide the fate of 2,899 candidates on Wednesday.