Bhopal, May 12 (IANS) Nearly 12.60 per cent of over one crore voters in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday voted in the first two hours of polling for eight Lok Sabha seats, an election official said.
As of 9 a.m., the highest voter turnout was recorded in Guna with 15.97 per cent, followed by Vidisha 15.32, Rajgarh 15.18, Sagar 13.07, Morena 10.92, Bhopal 10.78, Gwalior 10.37 and Bhind 9.76, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer V.L. Kantha Rao said.
There were reports of clashes at a few polling booths in Bhind after voting began at 7 a.m. The Election Commission then restricted a few Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress leaders from venturing out of their houses, Rao said.
Fate of 148 candidates, including 14 women will be decided. Polling will end at 6 p.m.
This phase will see a straight battle between the BJP and Congress. The polls are a major challenge to the former as it had lost power last year after 15 years in the Assembly.
The Bhopal constituency is the most keenly watched as former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh of the Congress takes on Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur of the BJP, who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
In Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia from Congress is seeking another term. He has been representing this Lok Sabha seat in Parliament since 2002. He is up against K.P. Yadav from the BJP. Yadav was Scindia’s aide till January 2018.
Morena, which is the birthplace of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a BJP stronghold, there the party has fielded Narendra Singh Tomar against Congress’ Ram Niwas Rawat.
Sandhya Rai of BJP is pitted against Devasish Jararia of Congress from Bhind. While Vivek Sejwalkar of BJP is taking on Ashok Singh of Congress in Gwalior.