Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2023
In the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections, voting on 20 seats took place on Tuesday, which ended at 5 pm. 70.87 percent voting took place in the state. Meanwhile, sporadic incidents have also been seen at many places in the state. Naxalites carried out an IED blast in Sukma district, in which a CRPF commando was injured. At the same time, there was light firing between Naxalites and security personnel near Banda polling station in Sukma district.
Another encounter took place between security forces and Naxalites in Orchha police station area of Narayanpur district. Police say that there was no harm to the security personnel in both these incidents. Out of the 20 seats for which elections were held in the first phase, voting started at 7 am in the morning and ended at 3 pm. Voting on the remaining 10 seats started at 8 am and ended at 5 pm.
These veterans cast their votes
Voting took place amid tight security arrangements by police and paramilitary forces. Strict monitoring was kept on the seats of Naxal affected Bastar division. State Congress chief and Bastar MP Deepak Baij (Chitrakote seat), Kawasi Lakhma (Conta), Mohan Markam (Kondagaon), sitting Congress MLA Chandan Kashyap (Narayanpur) and Savitri Mandavi (Bhanupratapur) cast their votes from their respective seats. BJP candidates and former ministers Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur), Mahesh Gagda (Bijapur), Vikram Usendi (Antagarh) and Lata Usendi (Kondagaon) also exercised their franchise.
BJP leader and former Chief Minister Raman Singh is contesting from Rajnandgaon against Congress’s Chhattisgarh State Mineral Development Corporation Chairman Girish Dewangan. Woman constable Sumitra Sahu, who left Naxalism and joined the police force in 2018, voted in Narayanpur constituency. The 34-year-old constable said that she was active as a commander in the Amadai area committee of Maoists in Narayanpur and had left the illegal organization in December 2018.
Direct contest between Congress and BJP
In the first phase, out of total 90 assembly seats in the state, 223 candidates including 25 women are in the fray for 20 seats. According to the voter list, there are 40,78,681 voters on these seats. The number of women voters is more than men in the seats falling under the first phase of voting. The number of female voters is 20,84,675, while the number of male voters is 19,93,937. There are also 69 third gender voters. There is a contest between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP in the state.
For the first phase, 5,304 polling booths were set up and 25,249 polling personnel were deployed. Voting began at 7 am in Mohla-Manpur (Durg division), Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur and Konta (all in Bastar division) and continued till 3 pm. These seats are from Naxalite areas. Whereas in Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur, Chitrakote, Pandariya and Kawardha, voting started at 8 am and continued till 5 pm.
One lakh security personnel were deployed
Police say that around 60,000 security personnel were deployed for voting in Bastar division, which has 12 assembly constituencies, including 40,000 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and 20,000 state police personnel. About 1 lakh security personnel were deployed for the first phase of voting. Due to security reasons, 149 polling stations of five assembly constituencies of Bastar division were shifted to nearby police stations and security camps. Voting for the remaining 70 seats in the second and final phase for the 90-member state assembly will be held on November 17.
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