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60 p.c. polling in Madhya Pradesh

— Photo: A.M. Faruqui

Women line up to cast their vote at a polling centre in Bhopal on Thursday.

Bhopal: The Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh saw an estimated 60 per cent turnout on Thursday, but the exercise was marred by the killing of a BJP candidate, stabbing of a presiding officer and disruptions.

Briefing reporters, Chief Electoral Officer J.S. Mathur said Sunil Nayak was shot near Nayakheda village, in Prithvipur constituency of Tikamagarh, 45 minutes after polling ended in a clash that ensued after the BJP candidate’s supporters were involved in a verbal duel with those of Congress nominee Brajendra Rathod.

Mr. Mathur said there was an exchange of fire in which Mr. Nayak received three bullet wounds and died on his way to the Jhansi Medical College.

According to Mr. Mathur, the polling percentage is likely to go up when the final figures are received.

The presiding officer of the Dharwara polling booth of Badwara Assembly constituency in Katni district died due to brain haemorrhage during the polling, while the presiding officer of booth number 38 at village Madaiya in Bhind district was stabbed by unidentified men and was rushed to a hospital in Gwalior, EC officials said.

The elections will decide the fate of prominent leaders, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Bharatiya Jan Shakti chief Uma Bharti and senior BJP minister Babulal Gaur. Senior Congress ministers, including the former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, are giving the polls a miss.

A total of 3,180 contestants were in the fray and their fate sealed by the 3,56,88,173-strong electorate. Officials said there were also some attempts to snatch and damage EVMs. — PTI

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