Madhya Pradesh bypolls: Glitches in EVMs stall voting for some time

New Delhi, Feb 24: Some glitches in the EVM machines ha stalled the voting in Madhya Pradesh today morning. 

Complained a voter from Kolaras while talking to ANI this morning, "I have been standing in queue for the past one hour, voting has not started since the EVM is not working."

Bypolls are being held in two key assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, providing an opportunity to gauge the mood of the state that will elect a new assembly later this year.

The states ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress are facing off in the Mungaoli and Kolaras seats, both currently held by the Congress. Both fall within the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia. The bypolls were necessitated by the death of sitting Congress legislators.

The two seats have been Congress strongholds for long; so for the party, which is looking to recapture power in the state after 15 years, the challenge will be to expand its lead over its rival.

The MP bypolls have also shaped the contours of a likely political duel later this year between chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Scindia, who is largely seen as a challenger to the latter.

Scindia himself added the personal dimension to the electoral battle earlier this week when he told reporters that he favoured declaring a chief ministerial face ahead of elections. For this reason, the Mungaoli and Kolaras bypolls have become a precursor to the bigger battle later this year.