Bhopal: A total of 10.39 per cent of electorates exercised their franchise till 9 am in Madhya Pradesh, where polling began in the morning for the 230-member assembly Friday.
There are 2,533 candidates in the fray including political heavyweights like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his predecessor and rival Kamal Nath.
Till 9 am, 10.39 per cent of voters cast their votes in the state, a poll official said.
Polling began at 7 am across all 230 constituencies, including 47 reserved for ST and 35 for the SC, in the state, the official said.
Prominent among those who voted early include Chouhan and his family, Nath along with his family, state BJP president VD Sharma, home minister Narottam Mishra, sports and youth welfare minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia, industries minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon and state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anupam Rajan.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s son and former minister Jaivardhan Singh, who is contesting from Raghogarh, also cast his ballot along with his family members.
Women were seen standing in queues for voting at various polling booths in the state including Hoshangabad, an eyewitness said.
The voting will continue till 6 pm in all the polling stations except those in Naxalite-affected areas of Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori districts where it will end at 3 PM, the official said.
A total of 64,626 polling stations have been set up in the state. Among these, 64,523 are main booths and 103 associate (sahayak) stations, where the number of electors is more than 1,500, the official said.
As many as 5,60,58,521 voters, including 2,87,82,261 males, 2,71,99,586 females and 1,292 third-gender persons, are eligible to exercise their franchise. The total number of voters also includes service and overseas electors, the official informed.
A total of 2,533 candidates of political parties and independents – 2,280 males, 252 females and a third-gender person – are vying to enter the state assembly.