K C R appoints son KTR as TRS working president

Making clear his intentions to concentrate on national politics, Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party President and Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao, Friday appointed his son K Taraka Rama Rao as the TRS Party Working President (Executive President). This elevation is being seen as the first step by KCR to anoint his son as CM at a later stage while he takes a bigger role in national politics.

With a landslide victory, there is no opposition in the party to KCR’s decision to elevate his son. However, it is a shock to his nephew T Harish Rao, a popular leader within TRS as well as in the state, who won from Siddipet with a margin of over 1.10 lakh votes. Harish Rao is the trouble-shooter with organisational skills in the party but with KCR’s popularity at an all-time high, he may have no choice but to accept his cousin’s elevation. KTR did not hold any position in the party in the existing setup

K T Rama Rao, 42, was Minister for IT, Panchayati Raj, and Municipal Administration and Urban Development in KCR’s first Cabinet. He was re-elected from Sircilla with a margin of 89,909 votes. Suave and tech-savvy, KTR is very popular among youth, and even before he was officially elevated today as working president, he was already accepted as second-in-command by most TRS leaders. He is credited with initiating and establishing T-hub, the incubator for business start-ups in Hyderabad.

KTR is also likely to be made a minister in KCR’s second term. As working president, KTR will also take care of the day-to-day party affairs, organisational matters, and make efforts to expand the party. “He has a good temperament and is very popular in the TRS. He is smart and intelligent. He has honed his skills over the years and is a rising star in the party. I think his elevation as working president is good of the party,’’ TRS leader K Keshava Rao said.

Responsibilities among others, enrolment of party membership, constructing party offices in districts and develop the party as the strongest one, have been entrusted to KTR. CM KCR is of the opinion to develop TRS as the largest party in the country. KTR who has been successfully and efficiently handling and performing the roles and responsibilities of both party and government, has been entrusted with the new role of working president by KCR. CM Rao strongly believes and is confident that the working style, the commitment, the direction and leadership qualities of KTR will help in leading the TRS party efficiently and effectively by him in the days to come.

On Tuesday, KCR has said that he would be soon forming a non-Congress, non-BJP national party with a consortium of regional parties.

KCR said he has decided to concentrate more time on national politics to bring a qualitative change in his political activity on a countrywide level. KCR took this decision of appointing KTR as working president, with a view to entrust the responsibility of party affairs to a most trusted and efficient person, since he would be preoccupied with the governance activities like expediting construction of irrigation projects and also to implement the electoral promises in letter and spirit, a statement said.

With the strong belief that TRS party alone saves Telangana, people overwhelmingly supported the party and elected it with a landslide victory in the recent elections, the statement said. In view of KCR’s decision to play a pivotal role in national politics and take forward the welfare and development programs in the state, the workload on him would be increased. Against this background, KCR has entrusted the responsibility of taking forward the party in accordance with his plan, to KTR, the most trusted person in party.

 

 

 

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Election Results LIVE 2018 – Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram

@ 5.45 p.m

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–Congress looks strong in Rajasthan, leading in 20 seats. With lead in 17 seats, TRS consolidates position in Telangana.

–30 minutes into counting, TRS ahead in early leads – Jogu Ramanna leads in Adilabad

 

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Close fight between the BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Congress takes big early lead in Rajasthan. TRS leads in Telangana.

 

The results for assembly elections to five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh – will be declared tomorrow. The time of the start of vote counting is 8 am. Election trends will start coming out soon. The election results 2018 are important as it may impact 2019 general elections. All the major political parties would want to end the year on a winning note.

The Election Commission of India has made all the necessary arrangements for the poll results. In Telangana, the Chief Electoral Officer said necessary arrangements have been made for the counting day and the strongrooms, where voting machines are kept, are secured with central paramilitary forces providing. Here are the answers to some of the questions related to assembly election results.

Election result date: The election results 2018 will be announced on December 11.

Election results time: The counting will begin at 8 am. The results will be declared in the evening.

Where to watch election news coverage: Election Coverage starts when counting begins

The Telangana election results, the Madhya Pradesh election results, theRajasthan election results, the Chhattisgarh election results and Mizoram election results will announced tomorrow by the Election Commission.

Exit polls for five states in elections have predict a worrying outcome for the BJP in three heartland states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. An aggregate of exit polls shows the BJP’s winning streak is set to end in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both heading for hung verdict.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

Rajasthan Elections LIVE : Final Voter Turnout Of 74.21 Per Cent

10.30 a.m

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Voting for 200 seats in the Rajasthan assembly election will start at 8 am. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing a major challenge as the northern state has always voted out the incumbent government for more than two decades. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, however, is looking to hold on to power by riding on her government’s schemes and the work it has done for the people of Rajasthan. The Congress is counting on anti-incumbencyto win in Rajasthan. In the last round of by-elections in February, the Congress wrested the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats and the Mandalgarh assembly seat from the BJP. The votes for Rajasthan will be counted on December 11 along with Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.

Here are the live updates for Rajasthan assembly election:

Final Voter Turnout Of 74.21 Per Cent

59.43% voter turnout in Rajasthan till 3pm

District wise voter turnout till 3.00 pm

Ajmer: 56%
Alwar: 60%
Barmer: 59%
Bharatpur: 62%
Bikaner: 59%
Chittorgarh: 67%
Churu: 58%
Jhalawar: 62%
Tonk: 57%
Udaipur: 60%

41.37 per cent voter turnout in Rajasthan till 1pm

22.01 per cent voter turnout till 11am across Rajasthan

Voter turnout in Rajasthan till 9am is 6.11 per cent

Vasundhara Raje casts her vote, slams Sharad Yadav for body-shaming
“I am extremely shocked,” she said on Bihar politician Sharad Yadav’s comment on her weight that was seen as body-shaming. “It is very important that Election Commission takes notice of the remark. I feel insulted. Women are insulted,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said after casting her vote at pink polling booth No. 31A at Jhalrapatan constituency in Jhalawar.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of the BJP is scheduled to cast her vote at 8:15 am for the Rajasthan assembly election. She is counting on her government’s programmes to fetch her a large number of votes, enough to keep her in power for another term. The Congress is hoping anti-incumbency will work in the northern state.

Mock polling being conducted at booth No. 106 in Jodhpur’s Sardarpura constituency. Voting for the Rajasthan assembly election will start at 8 am.

Election official prepare to receive voters at a polling booth in Jodhpur. Voting for the Rajasthan assembly election will start at 8 am.

The counting of votes will take place on December 11. The results of three other states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – will be announced on the same day.

 

No chief ministerial candidate in Congress
The Congress is yet to announce a chief ministerial candidate in Rajasthan. Its election in-charge Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot are seen as front-runners for the top job if the party wins.
Voting in the Rajasthan assembly election will start at 8 am. A “pink polling booth” in Jhalawar.

 

Prominent candidates in Rajasthan assembly election: Congress
Heavyweight candidates from Congress include State Chief Opposition Leader  and famous Jat leader Rameshwar Lal Dudi from Nokha, State Party Chief Sachin Pilot from Tonk, Former Chief Minister and State General Secretary of AICC Ashok Gehlot from Sardarpur, Senior Congress Leader and former Revenue Minister Hemaram Choudhary from Gudha Malani, State Vice President and former Cabinet Minister Mahendra Jeet Singh Malviya from Bagidora, Former State Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal from Kota and Son of Jaswant Singh and former MP Manvendra Singh from Jhalrapatan.
Prominent candidates in Rajasthan assembly election: BJP
From Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), State Rural Development Minister Rajendra Rathore from Churu, State Party President and Mayor of Jaipur Ashok Parnami from Adarsh Nagar, State Women and Child Welfare Minister Anita Bhadel from Ajmer South, State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria from Udaipur, and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje from Jhalrapatan are the prominent candidates.

In the last five elections since 1993, Rajasthan has swung between the BJP and the Congress. But the Congress, which won only 21 assembly seats in 2013 against the BJP’s 161, would need an 8 per cent swing in its favour to win the election.

A “pink polling booth” at Jhalawar in Rajasthan. Voting for the Rajasthan assembly elections will start at 8 am.

 

The election for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, scheduled to be held on Friday, 7 December, is largely being seen as a bipolar contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

The Assembly elections in five states are being termed a litmus test for the Narendra Modi-led NDA government ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Rajasthan Elections: All You Need to Know

Will Rajasthan see a break in the 25-year trend of alternating between the BJP and the Congress governments every consecutive term, as the state goes to polls on 7 December?

In Rajasthan, the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency to retain power though no party has been repeated after one term in the last 20 years. With the poll surveys predicting that Congress was ahead, the BJP has made persistent efforts over the last few days to shore up its prospects with Modi, the main vote getter for the BJP, addressing around 12 rallies.

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

Telangana Elections LIVE : As polling nears end in 119 constituencies, Telangana recorded a Final Voter Turnout Of 73.2 %

As polling nears end in 119 constituencies, Telangana recorded a Final Voter Turnout Of 73.2 %.

–After Jwala Gutta, IPS Officer’s Name Missing;

–Manish Sisodia Slams EC

56.17% Turnout Till 3 PM; Sania Mirza Casts Vote In Hyderabad

PV Sindhu after casting her vote In Hyderabad

48.1 per cent voter turnout till 1 PM in Telangana.

8.97% Voter Turnout Till 9 AM

As many as 1,821 candidates including a transgender are in the fray in the election.

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

224 video-surveillance teams and 133 video-viewing teams have been pressed into service.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

The Congress has stitched together “Prajakutami” (People’s Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the CPI to take on the ruling TRS, led by caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR).

The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

Security was beefed up at bordering areas which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

One lakh police personnel including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

Campaigning by political parties came to an end at 5 pm Wednesday.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations across.

More than 1.50 lakh polling officials including reserve staff are in the process of giving final touches Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

After a high-voltage campaign that saw war of words among contending parties, voting for the Assembly elections in Telangana will begin on Friday with the Congress-led alliance challenging the ruling TRS, and the BJP seeking to make it a triangular contest.

 

India’s youngest state, Telangana, goes to polls on Friday, 7 December, to constitute its second Legislative Assembly. The single-phase polling will see voting in all 119 constituencies.

The main contenders for this election remain to be the KCR-led TRS, which was in power for the last four years, and the Congress-led ‘Mahakutami’ (or ‘Grand Alliance’), which included the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) among many others.

  • Telangana is going to polls nearly seven months earlier as the TRS government dissolved the Assembly before its term ended
  • The Congress is considered the main Opposition in the state and is leading a grand alliance called ‘Mahakutami or Prajakutami’
  • TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao will remain the caretaker chief minister till the new government is formed

What You Must Know About Telangana Polls 2018

What Do the Pre-poll Surveys Say?

The Aaj Tak-India Today survey predicts a massive victory for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), with 43 percent voters predicted to cast their ballot for the KCR party. The Congress, on the other hand, is expected to garner 18 percent of vote share.

Interestingly, 11 percent of those surveyed wanted KCR to be the next prime minister, while 44 percent voted for PM Narendra Modi and 39 percent for Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Another survey conducted by VDP Associates, claims that the TRS is all set to win at least 80 seats, while the Congress is expected to win around 20 seats. The survey predicts that the BJP will win seven seats, with the AIMIM getting eight.

The Main Contenders in Battlefield Telangana

The main contenders for this election remain to be the KCR-led TRS, which was in power for the last four years, and the Congress-led ‘Mahakutami’ (or ‘Grand Alliance’), which included the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) among many others.

The BJP, although not a main contender, is expected to swing some percentage of vote share its way. In all, there are now as many as nine political parties vying for power in the state.

Early Polls in Telangana

A united Andhra Pradesh has voted for both state Assembly and the Lok Sabha at the same time — from 1999 till 2014. However, since August 2018, media reports suggested that KCR was getting ‘battle-ready’ to dissolve the Assembly and go to polls in winter 2018, along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

KCR dissolved the Telangana Assembly on 6 September, his supposed ‘lucky’ date.

Hours after dissolving the Assembly, he released a list of 105 candidates who will fight the elections from Husnabad, the very place he launched his 2014 campaign.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

 

‘Take this BJP pamphlet, but vote for TRS’: Telangana election campaigns just another work opportunity for rally-goers

The money spent by political parties for the Telangana Assembly elections can be palpated in the alcoholic breaths of several flag-bearing men at the political rallies in and around Hyderabad. The money offered at the rallies — around Rs 300 per rally — is over Rs 100 more than Telangana’s rate under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and close to the daily wage in many parts of the state. For the labouring poor, who are generally employed temporarily and often work under MNREGS, the elections are just another job, a source of income, except that most of the money spent is unaccounted for.

The State Election Commission of Telangana seized over Rs 112 crore — Rs 90 crore in cash — till this week. The figure touched Rs 104 crore after income tax officials found Rs 51 lakh in cash at the farmhouse of S Shridhar Reddy, brother-in-law of Narender Reddy, a candidate of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) contesting from the Kodangal constituency.

A notebook the I-T department found in the farmhouse reveals the magnitude and methods in which money is being spent on the elections in Telangana. “Pages 1, 2 and 3 (of a diary) have notes from 27 November when a search took place. The total of all the entries comes to around Rs 1.2 crore,” I-T sleuths told the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer in a letter. The notebook also reveals that money was being spent on political campaigns, or “to get political favours by distributing money to various leaders”.

I-T sleuths also found that several pages of the notebook were regularly torn in an attempt to cover their tracks. A loose page found in the farmhouse contained details of wine distributed across 26 gram panchayats.

Furthermore, scores of enthusiastic men cheering at political rallies in Hyderabad are often inebriated. I can vouch for this from the two political events I attended in Hyderabad on 2 and 3 December — a mega TRS rally held at Parade Grounds that Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao attended and a roadshow by the “Prajakutami”, the alliance of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI), attended by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

A TRS rally for the Telangana elections at Parade Grounds, Hyderabad. Image Courtesy: Rahul M

“Look at them!” a traffic police signaled to me as I took photos of school vans that were being used for the TRS election rally. “Not the vans, the people inside them.” I could see a few young men lying inside a school van. The traffic police said that they were too drunk to get out of their vehicles.

Alcohol is a theme that perhaps unites people at many election rallies across Telangana. “We were given flags and brought here. Most men have gone to work, which is why there are several women here,” a drunk labourer said, holding onto me for support. A few attendees at the rally said they would be paid around Rs 300 after the event.

While the drunks at KCR’s rally enjoyed themselves dancing to the TRS’ songs and munching on snacks, those at Naidu’s rally were either waiting to leave or cheering the Andhra chief minister merely to pass the time. “Mujhe Telugu nahi aata (I don’t know Telugu),” said a young man who kept cheering for Naidu as he made jabs at KCR. After Naidu left, groups of women waited for vehicles arranged for them.

An auto driver, working as a TRS activist, asked a few women why they were attending the alliance’s rally. “The earnings of a husband and wife are different,” a woman replied, “but I will obviously vote for the car (TRS).”

While the TDP, BJP and Congress are seen as outsiders in Telangana, KCR is seen as one of them. TRS has even successfully appropriated various Andhra songs to his party’s advantage. At the rally, the audience danced to an altered version of a popular Telugu song from the movie Rangasthalam, which unfolds in the context of coastal Andhra of the 1980s. The lyrics of the TRS version of “Aa Gattu Kosthava Ranganna Eegattu Kostava” (will you stay on that side of the bank, oh Ranganna, will you come to this side) asks the electorate for whom they will vote — the good represented by KCR and his policies and the evil represented by the Prajakutami and BJP.

Furthermore, the Congress is likely to have an advantage in districts such as Nalgonda, where it had traditionally held power. The votes of landless labourers and tenant farmers could add to the Prajakutami vote share in many areas since these sections have not been able to avail any benefits of KCR’s “Rythu Bandhu” farmers’ investment support scheme.

“I have only half an acre,” said Ramulamma, a street vendor at Choutuppal in Nalgonda district. “Only the haves are getting fatter.”

A flower seller at the same junction in Choutuppal can’t decide for whom to vote. “They haven’t done much work in our area. But my mother gets pension regularly.”

In areas where the contest is close between the TRS and Prajakutami, the pink party might get an upper hand because of the welfare schemes it has implemented. In constituencies where BJP candidates are contesting, the goodwill the TRS has harvested through welfare schemes might help them win. Also, the BJP seems to have an unspoken arrangement with the TRS in many places.

“Take this,” a woman said, handing me a BJP pamphlet. “But vote for car (TRS).” She lives in Nalgonda town and gets paid around Rs 200 to distribute pamphlets.

S Latha, another women employed by the BJP to distribute pamphlets said, “We can run our lives only by doing labour work. How can we not go?”

For these women, election campaigns are just another opportunity for employment.

Scores of enthusiastic men cheering at political rallies in Hyderabad are often inebriated. Image Courtesy: Rahul M

Although the unemployed help political campaigns, or attend rallies for money, they see a deeper meaning in the election process. They hold trust in the democratic process and will most likely leave for their respective constituencies on the day of the election or the day before.

However, not everyone attending these rallies necessarily see the elections as a meaningful process. The teenagers who attended the TRS rally were, perhaps, the most disinterested. One of them even had his headphones on. Many of them recently graduated from school. The two I spoke to weren’t interested to vote for any party even if they were given a chance.

“They are all the same,” said a teenager who would be eligible to vote in four years. He said he and his friends were attending the rally because it was a Sunday and there was no college to attend. “We are 20 of us. And your leader brought us here. We will get money after the meeting. ”

 

 

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

Telangana gyaan: Why is pink the colour of the TRS?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Friday’s election in Telangana is one of a series of 5 recent state polls
  • They’re widely seen as a semi-final before the Lok Sabha election
  • Results of the assembly polls will be out on December 11

How many shades of pink are there? You could do a Google image search and marvel at the little panels that pop up.

Or, you could simply head to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS) Twitter page.

Scarves, caps, vehicles and even a mic resembling a cone of strawberry ice cream — it’s all a little overwhelming. But why is the party of K Chandrashekhar Rao, the caretaker chief minister, smitten with the colour of flamingoes and romance?

It represents peace and love. That’s what Vinod Kumar, a TRS MP, has been quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

And this, he added, is why the TRS chose it in 2001, when Chandrashkhar Rao began the movement for a separate state (separate from Andhra Pradesh, that is).

 

 

Chandrashekhar Rao, 64, often simply known as “KCR”, faces an assembly on Friday, December 5. The results of an India Today survey contain good news for the TRS: 48 per cent of respondents backed the current government, up from 44 per cent last month.

Standing in Rao’s way is an alliance between the Congress and three other parties: The Telugu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi. The BJP is also contesting the election, in all 119 seats.

Will Hyderabad’s streets be awash in pink on counting day? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. (December 11: Mark your calendars.)

But one thing’s for sure: India’s political parties are quickly running out of colours. Think about it: Saffron? BJP. Red? CPI-M. Green? JD-S and AIMIM. Blue? BSP. Yellow? TDP.

At this rate, we may soon have to look beyond the visible spectrum of light!

MP, Mizoram Polls 2018 LIVE updates: 75% polling in Mizoram, 74.6% in MP

In Mizoram, Congress will fight tooth and nail to save its last bastion in the North-East from falling. In the Christian dominated state, BJP’s pro-Hindutva image has done it any service and any party that is seen canoodling with the saffron party. Incumbent Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s tenure ends on December 15. Congress, the Mizo National Front (MNF), the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), and the Bharatiya Janata Party are the main political parties in the battle for Mizoram.

Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram Assembly Elections – LIVE updates

11:50 am: Voter turnout in Mizoram is at 29 percent till 11 am, as per ANI. In 2013 State Assembly Elections, the north-eastern state saw 89 percent voter turnout. Meanwhile in MP, 13.63% voter turnout was recorded till 11.15 am.

11:10 am: Special arrangements have been made to facilitate voting by members of the Bru community. Food and transport facilities are also being provided to those coming to cast votes. Violence between Mizo and Bru tribes broke out in 1997, following which many Bru families were forced to flee their home state and take shelter in the neighbouring Tripura.

10:44 am: After a person was arrested after BJP polling agents were found carrying campaign material within 200 meters of a polling booth in MP, another case of violation of section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951. The Election Commision is expected to look into the matter.

10: 30 am:  After initial reports of multiple Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) not working, over 100 EVMs have been replaced, chief electoral officer V Kantha Rao was quoted by reports as saying.

 

10:19 am: Earlier, Kamal Nath after casting his vote in Chhindwara said, “I have full faith in the people of Madhya Pradesh, they are simple and innocent people who have been robbed for a long time by BJP”.

In true democratic spirit, a 101-year-old woman was spotted outside the polling booth in Agar Malwa in MP after exercising her franchise:

10:02 am: In violation of election code of conduct, a person was apprehended after BJP’s polling agents were caught with campaign material within 200 meters of a polling booth in MP.

9:50 am: Mizoram has witnessed 15 percent voting till 9 am, as per ANI. The voting in the North-eastern state started at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm. Mizoram’s borders with neighbouring Tripura, Assam and Manipur as well as international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh have been sealed since Sunday for elections.

9:37 am: After claiming yesterday that there is pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency in the state, CM Shivraj Chouhan after casting his vote in Budhni on Wednesday said he is confident that BJP will form the government with absolute majority.  “We’re 100% certain that BJP will form the government with an absolute majority. We have set a target of 200 seats and our lakhs of volunteers are working to make it a reality,” he told ANI.

9:22 am: There have been reports of EVMs not working in some of the booths in MP. Two faulty EVMs in Ujjain have been replaced, 11 VVPAT machines in Alirajpur, 5 VVPAT and 2 EVMs in Burhanpur also replaced. It was earlier reported that EVM at polling booth number 178 in Dabra, Gwalior district is not working.

9:03 am: In MP, a total of 5,04,95,251 voters will cast their votes to decide the fate of 2,907 candidates. Voting in three Maoist-affected seats Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar began at 7 am and will continue till 3 pm while the polling in the remaining 227 seats began at 8 am and will continue till 5 pm.

8:48 am: Congress leader Kamal Nath cast his vote in Chhindwara while MP minister and BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia cast her vote at a polling station in Shivpuri. She is up against Congress’ Siddharth Lada.

8:34 am: Mizoram has 7,70,395 registered electors who will vote in 1,164 polling booths across the state. Nearly 209 candidates are in the fray. Here are some visuals of voters as they exercise their franchise:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 

8:22 am:  Both BJP and Congress leaders made temple runs as polling began in MP. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered prayers on banks of Narmada river in Budhni with his wife Sadhna Singh. Meanwhile, Congress leader Kamal Nath made his obeisance at Hanuman temple in Chhindwara.

8:13 am: Polling in Maoist-affected constituencies began early in Madhya Pradesh while voting in the rest of the state started at 8 am. The most-watched seat today is CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Budhni. He is pitted against Congress’ Arun Yadav there.

8:03 am: In Mizoram, all booths will be connected wirelessly leaving no “shadow areas”. The state has a hilly terrain which makes access to certain locations difficult. Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police earlier Joseph Lalchhuana earlier told PTI the move will help in timely reporting of the progress in polls.

7:45 am:  On the eve of MP polls, Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is the longest-serving chief minister of the state told PTI that pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency is at play in the state. “What is at work here is pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency,” said the 59-year-old BJP leader, whose party has been in power in the state since 2003,” he told PTI.

7:30 am: Voting in MP will begin at 8 am. About 500 ‘pink’ polling booths all across MP which will completely be managed by all-woman staff. From presiding officers till security guards, these booths will have all women staff.