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Counting of Assembly poll votes begins in MP

Counting of Assembly poll votes begins in MP

Bhopal, Dec 3 (UNI) Counting of votes cast in 230 Assembly
constituencies of Madhya Pradesh commenced at 52 district headquarters
on Sunday for revealing the electoral fortunes of 2,533 candidates
including 252 women who are in the fray for formation of a New House.
The official timing for commencement of the vital democratic process was 8 am.
It was officially learnt that three-tier security arrangements are in
place and randomisation of counting personnel was also three-tier.
Following the first randomisation, the second was executed 24 hours
prior to start of counting while the third was carried out at 5 am.
Observers have been appointed by the Election Commission and media
centres set up. Apart from observers, no individual is permitted to
carry cellular phones into the counting halls.
The process began with postal ballots and the electronic voting
machines will be taken up at 8-30 am. Subsequent to the completion of
each round, the result of that round will be announced. A total 51,259
voters above 80 years of age and 12,093 differently-able ones
exercised their franchise from their respective dwellings.
As many as 4,369 tables have been placed for EVMs and 692 for postal
votes. The results will be displayed on the ECI website and besides the
Voter Helpline app.
The turnout was 77.82 percent during the single-phase voting on
November 17 as compared to 75.63 percent in 2018.
Among the prominent contestants are Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan (Budhni), Congress state head and erstwhile CM Kamal Nath
(Chhindwara), Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra
Singh Tomar (Dimani), Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and
Food-Processing Industries Prahalad Singh Patel (Narsinghpur), Union
MoS for Steel and Rural Development Faggansingh Kulaste (Niwas) and
BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya (Indore-1).
The ruling BJP and the principal-opposition Congress fielded their
representatives for all seats whereas other figures included Bahujan
Samaj Party 181; Samajwadi Party 71 and 1,166 independents. An
electorate exceeding 5.60 crore – including more than 2.71 crore women
and 1,292 of the third gender – were eligible to participate in the
democratic exercise.
The BJP’s determined bid to stretch its almost uninterrupted 20-year
rule and the Congress’ all-out pitch to wrest control of the state
sums up battleground Madhya Pradesh, which has been under saffron rule
since 2003 barring a Congress interregnum.
In the 2018 election, the Congress emerged as the single-largest
entity with 114 seats and constituted a coalition government that
proved to be short-lived owing to the exit in March 2020 of MLAs loyal
to the then Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who revolted and the
BJP formed a dispensation again.
Later that year, most of the Scindia supporters won on BJP tickets in
by-polls. Winning the election is a prestige issue for the saffron
camp even as the Congress is ranging for revenge.
The outcome shall also be a reflection of the voters’ mood vis-à-vis
the general election scheduled in 2024.

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