Despite a 'diktat' issued by Maoists and Naxals in many parts of Chhattisgarh, threatening localities to boycott the state polls, voters came out in large numbers and have participated in the first phase of election in the state on Monday.
With the constant support by the CRPF and security forces, who are standing and guarding them against the possible attacks by those against elections, villagers and tribals from the local areas stood in line to cast their votes.
While much of the polling went peacefully, there were a few attacks recorded on the big day. Early in the morning, and IED blast near Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block, 1.5 km away from the nearest polling booth in Dantewada was reported. Though, no one was injured from the incident.
Voting was stopped for a brief period at the Pink polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari due to technical problems. Just past the noon, an encounter broke out between security forces & Maoists in Bijapur's Pamed area. There was heavy firing underway, which resulted in injuries to two Cobra Jawans (Sub-Inspector and Constable).
The first phase of polling for 18 constituencies in the state of Chhattisgarh began at 7 am on Monday, and people will have the time to vote till 6 pm. In the second phase of the elections, remaining 72 constituencies will into polls in North Chhattisgarh area on November 20. The result will be announced on December 11, along with the results of Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
As many as 65,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed in the 18 constituencies. A total of 190 candidates are contesting the Chhattisgarh assembly elections in the 18 constituencies in Chhattisgarh spread over eight districts which are active Maoist areas.
A total of 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections. There are 31,79,520 voters, including 16,21,839 males, 15,57,592 females and 89 of the third gender.