New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday extended his greetings to first-time voters in Madhya Pradesh where polling is underway for the 230-member Assembly.
He also urged voters to turn out in numbers to exercise their right of franchise in the second phase of polling for 70 seats in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.
Polling for the second phase in Chhattisgarh began at 8 pm and will continue till 3 pm while voting in nine polling stations of Bindranavagarh Assembly constituency will be held from 7 am to 3 pm.
For Chhattisgarh, over 18,800 polling stations have been set up for the second phase of polling. A total of 958 candidates are in the fray across the 70 seats.
While polling is being held in a single phase in Madhya Pradesh, voting for the first phase in Chhattisgarh for 20 seats was held on November 7.
On official handle on social media platform X, PM Modi posted, ‘I am confident that voters from every region of the state (Madhya Pradesh) will vote enthusiastically to mark this great festival of democracy. My special greetings to all the youth of the state who are voting for the first time in this election,’ PM Modi posted on X in Hindi.
‘Today is the second and last round of voting for the Chhattisgarh Assembly. I request all the voters to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. Each and every single vote of yours is essential to upholding our democratic traditions and practices,’ PM Modi added in his post.
Meanwhile, voting for all 230 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh began at 7 am on Friday. The voters can exercise their franchise till 6 pm, with the exception of Baihar, Lanji, and Parswara assembly seats of Balaghat district and some booths in Mandla and Dindori districts, where polling will be held till 3 pm.
BJP is seeking to retain power in the state where it has ruled for almost 18 of the past 20 years and Congress is keen to oust the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.
Webcasting has been made available at about 42,000 polling stations. Nearly 700 companies of the central forces and two lakh police personnel of the state have been deployed for security during the poll.
The election will decide the electoral fate of over 2,500 candidates.
Nearly 5.59 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. It includes 2.87 crore male and 2.71 crore women voters.
There are over 5,000 booths run by women and 183 polling stations run by the disabled, officials said.
The polls, coming nearly six months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, are crucial for both the BJP and Congress for various reasons. The counting of votes for the five states, also including Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, will be done on December 3.