Polling is underway for the first phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh amidst heavy security arrangements. About 40 percent voter turnout has been recorded till 01.30 PM.
Our correspondent reports that polling is progressing peacefully in Maoist affected 18 constituencies of Chhattisgarh. No major untoward incident was reported so far from anywhere. Long ques can be seen in front of polling booths. Voters, especially women, are enthusiastic to exercise their franchise. Out of about four thousand three hundred polling stations, 53 reported delayed start due to technical reasons.
Polling in 10 constituencies started at 7 am and would conclude at 3 pm. While, in remaining 08 constituencies balloting began at 8 AM. and would end at 5 pm.
As many as 190 candidates, including 14 women, are testing their electoral fortunes in first phase. Prominent faces trying their electoral luck in first phase are Chief Minister Raman Singh, School Education minister Kedar Kashyap, Forest minister Mahesh Gagda, tribal leader and Congress legislator party deputy leader Kawasi Lakhma, former prime minister Atal Bihari vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla and CPI leader Manish Kunjam.
As polling is progressing in the Maoist affected areas, democracy is set to win. The credit goes to the efforts of election commission, tight security arrangements and the courage as well as enthusiasm of voters.
Meanwhile, two personnel of KOBRA battalion of CRPF were injured in an encounter with Maoists in Bijapur district. According to reports that, exchange of fire took place between CRPF team and Maoists near Empur in Pamed area.
The CRFP team was on an area domination operation. The injured personnel include a Sub Inspector and a head constable of CRPF. Both injured are reported out of danger and are being airlifted to Raipur.
In other incident, Maoists triggered an Improvised Explosive Device- IED blast at Katekalyan area of Dantewada district today morning. However, no one was reported hurt in the incident.
CRPF bomb disposal squad detected three IEDs near a polling booth in Bijapur district. While, in Sukma district also, an IED was detected near a polling center.