At a district in Madhya Pradesh notorious for violence during polls, officials believe they have found the perfect remedy – keep the candidates at the police station during voting.
All the candidates at the Morena constituency were made to sit at a police control room for nearly three hours this morning, so they could cause no trouble. The rivals spent time together, reading newspapers and bonding over coffee. Once allowed to leave they all got into a car and drove off for lunch together.
The candidates, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew Anup Mishra of the BJP, Govind Singh of the Congress and BSP’s Vrindavan Singh Sikarwar, were summoned at 9 a.m., when voting usually picks up pace.
Officials said they wanted to ensure that the candidates did not intimidate voters or incite their own party men.
District officials say Morena, which borders Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, is prone to clashes during polls. In the Madhya Pradesh assembly election last year, more than a dozen fights between rival party workers were reported from the six assembly seats in Morena.