Bhopal/Aizawl: Over 4.7 crore voters will seal the fate of 2725 candidates in fray for 270 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram where polling will take place tomorrow amid tight security.
In Madhya Pradesh, voting will be held in 53,896 polling booths in 51 districts with an electorate of 4,64,57,724 to elect a 230-member Assembly. A total of 2,583 candidates are in fray, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is contesting from Budhni and Vidisha seats.
The BJP is fighting for an unprecedented third consecutive victory in the state where Congress was ousted 10 years ago. Other prominent candidates from BJP are state Urban Development Minister and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur (Govindpura in Bhopal), Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta (Bhopal South-West) and BJP MP Yashodhara Raje Scindia from Shivpuri.
Congress' candidates are led by Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Ajay Singh, who is contesting again from the Churhat constituency in Sidhi district. Another prominent Congress candidate is Jaiwardhan Singh, son of party General Secretary and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, from Raghogarh constituency in Guna district.
Special measures are being taken to ensure that polling in eight Naxal-hit districts are smooth and trouble-free, election office sources said. Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress and all his 11 ministers are among 142 candidates who will be contesting for the 40-member assembly.
For the first time in the country, voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used in this election in a larger scale, in 10 constituencies. VVPAT, a machine attached to EVMs which allows voters to check if their votes are cast the way they wished, was first experimented in an assembly bypoll in Nagaland in September.
All the seats in Mizoram are reserved for ST nominees, except Lunglei South which is for general candidates. Both ruling Congress and Opposition Mizoram Democratic Alliance comprising MNF, Mizoram People's Conference and Maraland Democratic Alliance will fight in all the 40 seats.
Lal Thanhawla is contesting from two constituencies - Serchhip, his home turf, and neighbouring Hrangturzo while Opposition MNF leader and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga (MNF) is trying his luck from Tuipui East bordering Myanmar.
There are 6,90,860 voters and 1,126 polling stations. An additional 31 companies of central paramilitary forces and police from neighbouring states have been deployed for the poll besides state police's seven armed battalions....