New Delhi: Raipur North today became the first ever Assembly Constituency to have all polling booths completely managed by women polling personnel. To achieve this feat, which is a first for any Assembly Constituency in the country, 1046 women were deployed in the 201 polling booths set up in the constituency. These all-women-managed polling booths provided a sense of comfort and security for all voters, especially the female and third-gender voters for more inclusive elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI), stated.
In all, 70 Assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh and all the 230 Assembly Constituencies in Madhya Pradesh went to polls today amidst elaborate preparations made by the ECI, which claimed voting was free, fair, inclusive and accessible for the vast electorate comprising a total of 7.23 crore voters in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh together. Fates of 958 candidates including Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel were sealed in the Electronic Voting Machine during this phase of elections in Chhattisgarh, while in MP, in all, 2,533 candidates including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were in the fray today.
Tentative figures of voting of nearly 71.11% in Madhya Pradesh and 67.34% in Chhattisgarh were reported till 5 PM. The voting percentage will likely go upward when reports from all polling stations including the interior polling stations are obtained. Voters reaching the Polling stations till the end of polling hour were allowed to cast their vote. Final figures will be known by tomorrow after scrutiny of form 17A, the ECI said.
While first-time voters walked side by side with the elderly to make the festival of democracy participatory and inclusive, 11 Polling booths were set up in the Bharatpur-Sonhat Assembly Constituency in Chhattisgarh where the number of registered voters was less than 100.
Celebrating the spirit of democracy, all registered 42 electors ( 26 female and 16 male electors) came together at Sonewani Polling Station in Balaghat Assembly Constituency in Madhya Pradesh to cast their vote, thereby registering 100% voter turnout.
The Election Commission of India said that after a successful Phase-I elections for the Chhattisgarh and Mizoram Legislative Assemblies, “democracy was celebrated in a festive atmosphere in the Phase-II elections in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh”.
Voters from different walks of life came forward to the polling stations to exercise their franchise. The ECI said elderly voters inspired young ones in their families and neighbourhoods to walk beside them to the polling station and vote. The two states, which boast of a vibrant tribal population, witnessed members of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) who enthusiastically exercised their franchise in large numbers.
With a concerted effort to facilitate voting amongst the tribal communities, 100% enrolment was achieved amongst the PVTGs residing in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Over 7.52 lakh voters belong to the PVTG community namely Kamar, Bhunjia, Baiga, Pahadi Korwa, Abujhmadia, Birhor in Chhattisgarh, and Sahariya, Bhariya and Baiga in Madhya Pradesh were registered as electors. Tribals from these communities were enthused to take part in the festival of democracy with polling stations themed around the tribal way of life offering a conducive environment for the members of the community to show up at the polling station and vote.
In Madhya Pradesh, around 5000 all-women managed polling stations, around 200 Persons with Disabilities managed polling stations and around 15000 model polling stations were set up. In Phase II of the Chhattisgarh elections, around 700 all-women managed polling stations, around 70 PwD managed polling stations and around 350 model polling stations were set up. Special theme-based polling stations were also set up for the tribals in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
– global bihari bureau