Chhattisgarh elections LIVE news: 5 Naxals killed in Bijapur encounter
Chhattisgarh : Despite of Maoist threats, over 25 per cent of the voting process went successful today, till 1 pm in 18 constituencies in the first phase of Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh. However, a few minutes before the start of polling, improvised explosive device (IED) was thrown in Dantewada district by Naxals, who had called for a boycott of the polls. Five CRPF personnel were injured in a gun battle with the rebels in Pamed area in Bijapur district.
Voting for 10 seats began on Monday at 7 am and polling at Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon wrapped up at 3 pm. Polling in Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot is still going on.
“BJP has completely lost the plot in Chhattisgarh and its desperation and desolation is more than evident with reports of rigging of EVMs pouring in from Bastar,” IANS quoted Congress Legislative Party leader TS Singh Deo as saying. A poll officer said as many as 31 EVMs and 51 VVPAT machines were replaced due to technical snags. The election in the second phase will be held on November 20.
To inform, in the Chhattisgarh elections 2018, 12 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and one for Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The second phase of polling in 72 seats, out of the 90-member Assembly, will be held on November 20. Around 1.25 lakh security personnel have been deployed in the region to ensure peaceful polling. The elections this time is esentially a three-way contest between the ruling BJP, Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati combine. Counting of votes will take place on December 11.
Sources confirmed that around five Naxals were killed in the encounter at Bijapur district's Pamed area. Earlier, two CoBRA personnel were injured in the encounter, which began a group of Naxals opened fire on a team of security personnel that was patrolling the region as voting was on in the first phase of Chhattisgarh elections. All the CoBRA personnel are out of danger.