Chhattisgarh elections: Voter turnout recorded at 70% as 1st phase of polling ends

People line up to vote in Rajnandgaon. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 12, 2018, 06.16 PM (IST)

Voting has ended in the 18 seats that went to the polls in Chhattisgarh today. Voter turnout was recorded at 70 per cent. 

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This included turnouts of 61.47% in Kondagaon, 63.51%  in Keshkal, 62% in Kanker; 58% in Bastar, 49% in Dantewada, 60.5% in Khairagarh, 64% in Dongargarh, and 65.5% in Khujji.

While polling percentages were high — most of the areas mentioned above are in the Naxal-hit districts of southern Chhattisgarh — polling was marred by violence

Five CRPF personnel were injured and five Maoists killed in an encounter that broke out in Bijapur's Pamed area. 

The Maoists had called for a boycott of the polls and had carried out six attacks over the last fortnight. 

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Three of the attacks were major, leaving 13 people dead including a Doordarshan cameraman. The Maoists are not known for attacking journalists but the DD cameraman and his colleagues, who were covering the elections, were travelling with security forces. 

One lakh security personnel meanwhile had been deployed in Chhattisgarh for the polls. 

The remaining seats in the 90-member house will go to the polls on November 20. 

Story highlights

Voter turnouts included 61.47% in Kondagaon, 63.51%  in Keshkal, 62% in Kanker; 58% in Bastar, 49% in Dantewada, 60.5% in Khairagarh, 64% in Dongargarh, and 65.5% in Khujji.