Bhopal: Altogether 65.5 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections on Wednesday, just over seven per cent less than the figure in the previous polls.
In the 2013 assembly election, 72.69 per cent turnout was recorded, an election official said.
The polling on Wednesday was marred by complaints of faulty electronic voting machines and voter verifiable paper audit trail machines. Poll officials said 1,145 EVMs and 1,545 VVPATs were replaced after complaints of
Polling was held between 8 am and 5 pm in 227 seats, while in three assembly segments — Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar — in the Naxal-affected Balaghat district, the voting time was between 7 am to 3 pm, state Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said.
About 2.5 per cent (polling) machines were replaced, Rao said, adding this percentage was around two per cent in other states where elections were held recently.
Three employees died due to “health reasons” while performing poll duty in Dhar, Indore and Guna districts, he said.
At Gadhpura village in Bhind district, a person was injured in violence but it was not poll-related, he said. The incident happened “far from the booth” and was related to enmity between two groups, he added.
Asked about reports that some EVMs were found in a hotel, Rao said, “We have got the information that a sector officer in Shujalpur was staying in a hotel along with ballot machines. On getting information, the officers reached the hotel and seized the machine. The officer concerned was removed (from poll duty) and the polling team was sent along with a new sector officer.”
Congress leaders claimed that EVMs at many places had malfunctioned.
“There were several complaints that EVMs at many places malfunctioned. We asked requested the Election Commission that voting time in these polling booths should be extended to compensate for the delay,” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said in the afternoon, while polling was on.