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Amid Maoists' threats, Chhattisgarh records 70 pct voters turnout in assembly polls

Amid Maoists' threats, Chhattisgarh records 70 pct voters turnout in assembly polls

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Nov 2018, 09:40 pm

Raipur, Nov 12 (IBNS): Amid violence and IED blasts by Maoists, the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections held for 18 seats in eight districts of the state came to an end on Monday evening with 70 percent voter turnout in the first phase.

As per reports till 4:30 PM,  61.47% votes were recorded in Kondagaon; 63.51% in Keshkal; 62% in Kanker; 58% in Bastar; 49% in Dantewada; 60.5% in Khairagarh; 64% in Dongargarh; and 65.5% in Khujji.

Meanwhile, two jawans  of the Commando Batallion for Resuolute Action (CoBRA)  were injured in an encounter with suspected Maoists in Bijapur Pamed area.

Earlier, the Maoists triggered a blast through an improvised explosive device in Nayanar village when troops of the 195 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were approaching a polling booth. No injury to the personnel was reported.

Voting began in 10 assembly seats at 7am across seven districts in Maoist-affected Bastar region and Rajnandgaon district where officials had deployed 100,000 security personnel and pressed helicopters into service to airlift polling staff to booths. Polling began in eight more seats an hour later.

Voting was delayed in 53 polling stations of the 4336 booths due to technical reasons. However , smooth polling was witnessed elsewhere with people waiting in long queues , Election Commission sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day urged people to come out in large numbers to vote in the assembly polls.

“It’s the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh. I request all voters to participate in the great festival of democracy with enthusiasm and come out in large numbers to vote,” Modi tweeted.

The state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, which has launched an aggressive campaign to return to power after 15 years, are hopeful of a good showing in the first phase. Five years ago, the Congress won 12 of these 18 seats months after an audacious attack by Maoists that killed at least 25 people, including senior party leaders in Bastar.

The 2013 polls for Chhattisgarh’s 90 assembly constituencies were close, with the BJP winning 49 seats and the Congress 39. The difference in vote share between them was less than one percentage point. Mayawati’s BSP secured one seat and the other went to an independent.

In Monday’s polling, there are over three million registered voters spread across 18 constituencies. As many as 190 candidates are in the fray, including chief minister Raman Singh, who is contesting the Rajnandgaon seat, and two other ministers.

A total of 660 companies of paramilitary forces have been sent by the Centre and we have about 300 companies here... the number of personnel deployed in the region is about 90,000 to 100,000.

Amid Maoists' threats, Chhattisgarh records 70 pct voters turnout in assembly polls

India Blooms News Service
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