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67% turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

An official explains the function of an Electronic Voting Machine to Gontu tribals in naxal-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Photo: Sugvojit Bagchi   -  The Hindu

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A voter turnout of 67 per cent was recorded in the 18 constituencies in Chhattisgarh, which went to polls on Monday. The polling on Monday was largely in areas that are Naxal-affected and where poll boycott calls had been given by various organisations, including the Maoists.

Briefing newspersons here, Election Commission officials said the final voter turnout figure would be available later. During the last Assembly elections,the turnout was slightly lower at 66 per cent, the officials said.

The first phase of elections is largely marked by “visible voter enthusiasm to participate in the democratic process” and there were only sporadic instances of violence, EC officials said. One Central Reserve Police Force jawan succumbed to injuries during polling on Monday, officials said, adding that polling in two polling stations had to be stopped and a re-poll date would be announced later.

At least 10 per cent of the 143 candidates in the fray in the 18 constituencies have criminal records.

For the first time, the EC pressed into service an air ambulance to ferry injured personnel, officials said.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 11, 2013

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