Chhattisgarh elections: 25 per cent voting recorded till 12.30 pm amid heavy security

Polling underway in Chhattisgarh Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team Chhattisgarh, India Nov 20, 2018, 07.33 AM (IST)

Prime Minister Modi urged people to come out in large numbers in 72 assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh to exercise their franchise in Chhattisgarh as polling began for the second phase today.

According to the election commission, 25 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 12.30 pm.

Voting began at 7 am in two polling booths of Bindranavagarh constituency in Gariaband district, while in the remaining 72 booths, polling started at 8 am.

The state had gone to the polls for the first phase on November 12th in the 18 Naxal-affected seats which saw 70 per cent electorates exercising their franchise.

There are 1,53,85,983 voters set to vote in the second phase in 19,296 polling booths across 72 constituencies which include those belonging to the Naxal belt in Gariaband, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kabirdham, Jashpur and Balrampur districts.

The state is witnessing a three-way battle between the ruling BJP led by chief minister Raman Singh, Congress and Ajit Jogi and Mayawati led Janata Congress Chhattisgarh(JCC-J)-BSP combine with Communist Party of India (CPI) alignment providing a bitter edge to the battle. The JCC (J) is contesting in 55 seats, the BSP 33 and CPI two seats.

Jogi's manifesto promises Rs 2,500 per quintal MSP for paddy, free power supply to agriculture pumps with a capacity of up to 5 horsepower, and complete waiver of farm loans among others.

Ajit Jogi who is contesting from Marwahi segment which belongs to the Bilaspur division.

The Bilaspur division comprising of with 24 Assembly seats holds the key to the state. The area also has five seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category and four for the Scheduled Caste (SC). 

Raman Singh, the current chief minister of the state who has been in power for the past 15 years has promised 2 lakh interest-free loan for women, free books and uniform to students till 12th standard. The ruling party in its manifesto has made effort to reach out to farmers and youth.

Congress in its "people's manifesto" has promised immediate loan waivers within 10 days of being voted to power.

Out of the Of the 72 seats going to the polls today, 46 belong to the general category, while nine are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 17 for Scheduled Tribes candidates.

The counting of votes will be held on December 11.