Budhni, MP, May 3 (UNI) Polling began this morning at the key Budhni assembly constituency, in Sehore district, where Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is contesting as a BJP nominee, official sources said.
In a 16-cornered contest, Mr Chouhan's chief rival is Congress candidate Rajkumar Patel -- a former state minister. Gondwana Ganatantra Party nominee Gulzar Singh Markam, who is also his party's state chief, enjoys the support of Bharatiya Janshakti President Uma Bharti, who was expelled from the BJP.
Mr Narmada Prasad Yadav is the Samajwadi Party candidate.
A 1,74,819-strong electorate, including 82,498 women, are expected to exercise their franchise through EVMs in 189 polling stations, 80 of which are sensitive.
Elaborate security arrangements are in place within the sprawling rural constituency spread over more than 350 villages with deployment of two CRPF and four SAF battalions besides district police.
At least one Central Government employee has been deployed in each booth and videography arranged at all stations.
Budhni fell vacant after Mr Rajendra Singh (BJP) resigned to pave way for Mr Chouhan's entry into the assembly. Mr Chouhan, who assumed the chief minister's post on November 29 last year, also represents Vidisha in Parliament.
Counting of votes will take place at Sehore on May 6.
UNI Team-AC SC HT0910