Nearly one lakh security personnel including paramilitary forces were deployed to ensure violence-free assembly elections in 18 assembly seats of Chhattisgarh. The first first phase of assembly elections took place today, while the remaining 72 seats will go to polls on 20 November.
The areas going for polls today includes strife-torn southern Chhattisgarh, while the northen part of the state will go for polls in the second and last phase a week from now. Of 18 seats going for polls today are 12 in Bastar and six in Rajnandgaon district. All these 18 seats are affected by Maoist insurgency. These constituencies are Khairagarh, Dongargarh (SC), Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Mohla-Manpur (ST), Antagarh (ST), Bhanupratappur (ST), Kanker (ST), Keshkal (ST), Kondagaon (ST), Narayanpur (ST), Bastar (ST), Jagdalpur, Chitrakot (ST), Dantewada (ST), Bijapur (ST) and Konta (ST).
Chief Minister Raman Singh, his two cabinet colleagues and an incumbent BJP MP are among the 190 candidates contesting in the first phase of polls today.
Although, the BJP had won the 2013 elections, it was able to win only six out of 18 seats, where voting is taking place today.
As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase of the state polls. There are 31,79,520 voters, including 16,21,839 males, 15,57,592 females and 89 of the third gender, reported news agency PTI.
A report by India Today said that the central government had deployed a total of 650 companies, including those from paramilitary units like CRPF, BSF, ITBP and around 65,000 personnel from police forces of other states.
Polling will take place from 7.00 am to 3.00 pm in 10 constituencies. In five constituencies of Rajnandgaon and three constituencies of Bastar, polling will happen from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.
The counting of votes will take place on 12 December along with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Miazoram. According to a poll survey by ABP News-V-Voter, in the 90-seat state assembly, the Congress is expected to win 47 seats, while 40 seats appear to be going to the BJP.
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