About 30 per cent of electorate cast their votes in the first four hours of polling in three Naxal-hit constituencies of Chhattisgarh during the second phase of Lok Sabha election in the state.
Amid high security, the polling began in three lok Sabha seats – Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund – from 7 AM and till 11 am around 30 per cent turnout has been recorded, joint chief electoral officer DD Singh said.
No incidence of violence has been reported from the region so far, he said. BJP candidate from Rajnandgaon seat Abhishek Singh and his father and Chief Minister Raman Singh cast their votes in their hometown Kawardha. Congress candidate from Rajnandgaon seat, Kamleshwar Verma, also exercised his franchise.
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Besides, BJP nominees Vikram Usendi (Kanker) and Chandulal Sahu (Mahasamund) also cast their votes. Meanwhile, re-polling is underway at Polampalli booth of Bastar constituency where voting could not be held on April 10 due to disruption by Naxals, Singh said.
The fate of 50 candidates, including five women, will be decided during today’s polling by 45,56,051 voters, of which 22,78,646 are men and 22,77,405 women. Maximum number of candidates are fielded in Mahasamund (27), followed by Rajnandgaon (13) and Kanker (10).
A total of 6,114 polling booths, including 2,452 regarded as critical, have been set up for the three seats – Rajnandgaon (2,211) Mahasamund (1,937) and Kanker (1,781)- where 29,347 employees have been deployed. As many as 56 web cameras and 1,258 digital/video cameras have been installed at polling stations to monitor the polling process, Singh said.
From Rajnandgaon seat, Raman Singh’s son Abhishek Singh (BJP) is pitted against Congress’ Janpad member Kamleshwar Verma, who belongs to Lodhi community. Mahasamund seat will see close battle between former Chief Minister and Congress nominee Ajit Jogi and BJP’s sitting MP Chandulal Sahu.
At Kanker seat, BJP denied ticket to its sitting MP Sohan Potai and fielded sitting MLA and former minister Vikram Usendi, while Phoolo Devi Netam is the Congress nominee from the seat.