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Despite Maoist attacks, 70% polling in Chhattisgarh

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 12, 2018 Published on November 12, 2018

Voters line up at a polling station in Sukma district during the first phase of elections in Chhattisgarh on Monday   -  -

Voting was held in 18 of the 90 Assembly seats; second phase polling on Nov 20

Despite a heightened Maoist threat, the largely tribal populace in south Chhattisgarh turned out to vote in the first phase of polling for 18 assembly segments on Monday. The Election Commission said 70 per cent of voters may have cast their ballots in the first phase.

The Election Commission said till 5:30 PM on Monday, the overall voter turnout was 58.55 per cent. “The turnout was likely to go up as the final figures were yet to be received,” Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha told reporters.

Polling percentage

Voting was held in 18 of the 90 Assembly seats in Chhattisgarh. While 61.47 per cent was recorded in Kondagaon till 5:30 PM; 63.51 per cent voters voted in Keshkal; 62 per cent in Kanker; 58 per cent in Bastar; 49 per cent in Dantewada; 70.14 per cent in Khairagarh; 71 per cent in Dongargarh; 71 per cent in Dongargaon; and 72 per cent in Khujji. The second phase of polling for 72 seats will be on November 20.

According to Pradesh Congress General Secretary Rajesh Tiwari, the threat perception slowed down voting only in areas such as Koyali Gada in Antagarh Assembly seat in Kanker district where Maoists had struck on Sunday. “Otherwise, the enthusiasm to vote was visible. We are very confident of improving our tally in this region,” Tiwari told BusinessLine.

Congress had won 12 of the 18 seats in this phase in the 2013 Assembly elections. However, it is worried about reports of EVMs malfunctioning and other irregularities. “In every Assembly seat, 30-40 polling booths have reported EVM malfunction. From some booths, machines are being sent back without being sealed. We have registered our concerns with the EC,” Tiwari said.

Published on November 12, 2018
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