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|October 3, 1999||
50 to 55 per cent voting in Hoshangabad and Vidisha
An estimated 50 to 55 per cent of the 2.32 million voters today exercised their franchise in the by and large peaceful polling in Hoshangabad and Vidisha Lok Sabha constituencies of Madhya Pradesh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Sunderlal Patwa, former Congress minister Rajkumar Patel (both from Hoshangabad), state BJP general secretary Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former Congress minister Jaswant Singh were among the twelve candidates whose fate were sealed in ballot boxes today.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Iqbal Singh Bais told reporters here that preliminary reports received from the constituencies indicated 53.41 per cent and 51.30 per cent polling in Hoshangabad and Vidisha respectively.
The poll percentage in both the constituencies could go up to 55 per cent, he added.
Confirming incidents of tearing of ballot papers and forced balloting at Ganj, Chouravar and Nimbodiya polling stations of the Ganjbasoda assembly segement, he said such ballot papers had been identified.
Polling, which was disrupted for a short while, resumed later.
Replying to a question, Bais said his office had not received any formal complaint so far regarding the BJP charge that Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Arif Aqueel and his supporters had created trouble at Salamatpur in Vidisha district.
However, a BJP press release said here that the leader of the Opposition, Gauri Shankar Shejwar, had sat on a dharna near a polling station alleging attempts of bogus voting by the supporters of Aqueel.
Elections in Vidisha and Hoshangabad, which were scheduled to be held on September 18 during the second phase of polling in the state, was adjourned twice due to floods.
As many as 54.67 per cent voters had cast their votes in 38 constituencies, which went to polls in three phases in the state.
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