Efforts were on to pursuade the voters to exercise their democratic right, MP’s Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao told reporters here. Polling was underway in the eight constituencies of Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa since 7 am, he said.
However, voters listed at a booth in Agar Malwa district falling under the Dewas seat and five booths in Mandsaur seat boycotted the polling over some of their demands, Rao said, without elaborating further.
“Our teams are in talks with them and urging them to cast their votes. We are trying hard so that that no one refrains from voting over local issues,” he said. Rao said around 12 people cast their votes at the polling booth in Dewas after being persuaded by the election officials there.
Meanwhile, long queues were seen at several other booths in the eight constituencies, all currently held by the BJP, he said. Some state leaders from Malwa Nimar region of the Indore constituency were also seen standing in queues to cast their votes in the morning.
Prominent candidates in the fray are former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav of the Congress, who are contesting from Ratlam and Khandwa seats, respectively. Altogether 82 candidates, including Bhuria and Yadav, are contesting in the eight constituencies where there are 1.49 crore eligible voters.
Total 18,411 polling booths, including 1,157 entirely managed by women, have been set up in these seats, Rao said. An average 69.26 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first three phases of the Lok Sabha polls in the state, he added.
Out of the total 29 Lok Sabha seats in MP, six went to polls on April 29, seven on May 6 and eight on May 12. The counting of votes would be held on May 23.