Chhattisgarh polls: 76.28 per cent of voters cast votes in first phase of elections
A total of 76.28 per cent of the voters cast their votes in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly polls, the Election Commission said on Tuesday.
The final figure is slightly higher than the 2013 assembly elections in the first phase that stood at 75.93 per cent, the EC said.
Polling in the 18 assembly constituencies across Maoist-infested districts of the state was done on Monday amid tight security.
On Monday, at the time of the media briefing by EC officials, the percentage stood at around 70 per cent but officials had said it was likely to go up as the data was being collated at that time.
People came out to exercise their right to vote in large numbers, battling several odds such as difficult terrain and threats from the red rebels.
The constituencies which went to the polls on Monday were Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot.
Polling in 10 constituencies -- Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon -- started at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.
Voting at Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot started an hour later and ended at 5 p.m.
The Maoists, who had warned citizens against taking part in the poll process, detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Katekalyan in Dantewada district, minutes before the voting began, narrowly missing a foot patrol of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
In a later gun battle with the rebels, two CRPF personnel were injured in Pamed in Bijapur district. Security personnel also found IEDs near a polling station in Bijapur and in Sukma district.
The second and final phase of polling in Chhattisgarh will be held on November 20. The vote count will take place on December 11.
(With inputs from agencies.)