Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram are all set to vote on Wednesday to elect their 230-member and 40-member assemblies respectively, with more than 5.7 crore voters expected to exercise their franchise in two states. In Madhya Pradesh, 1.80 lakh security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling in the state, where the ruling the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress will contest for supremacy.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s BJP is eyeing a fourth straight term in office, while the Congress is hoping for a comeback in the state which was once its stronghold.
The battle of ballots in Madhya Pradesh is just months ahead of the Lok Sabha election which are expected to be held in the first half of 2019.
As many as 2,899 candidates, including 1,094 independents, are in the fray for the 230 seats, but the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP.
Madya Pradesh has 5.04 crore eligible voters.
"All preparations for the Wednesday polling have been completed. All polling parties have left for their respective booths and most of them have reached their destination," said State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) VL Kantha Rao while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.
Here are key things to know about the Madhya Pradesh polls:
# The polling will be held from 8 am to 5 pm in 227 seats, while in three assembly segments in Naxal-affected Balaghat district - Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar - voting time will be from 7 am to 3 pm.
# 3,00,782 government employees, including 45,904 women, have been deployed on poll duty across the state, where 65,341 polling stations have been set up.
# The CEO said 17,000 of these polling booths have been
declared 'sensitive' and additional vigil will be maintained there.
# Rao said 78,870 EVMs will be used during the poll.
# Among the 2,899 candidates, 250 are women and five are from the third gender.
# The highest number of candidates - 34 - are in the fray in the Mehgaon constituency in Bhind district, while the lowest - 4 - is at Gunnor in Panna district," he said.
# Chouhan, in office since 2005, is seeking re-election from Budhni in Sehore district.
# The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), contesting the Madhya Pradesh elections for the first time, has fielded 208 candidates.
In Mizoram, more than 7.70 lakh people are expected to cast their votes. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla is seeking a third consecutive term and the BJP looking to uproot the Congress in its last bastion in the Northeast.
The Congress and the Mizoram National Party (MNF) have ruled Mizoram since 1987 when it became a full-fledged state. Interestingly, no party has been able to form government thrice since that year.
In the 2013 elections, the Congress had won 34 seats, while its main opposition, the Mizo National Front (MNF), got five and the Mizoram People’s Conference bagged one seat.
Here are key things to know about the Mizoram polls:
# A total of 209 candidates are in fray for the polls
# Out of 7,70,395 voters, 3,94,897 are women.
# EVMs will be used in the polling that would begin at 7 am and end at 4 pm.
(With PTI inputs)