The second phase of polling in Chhattisgarh on Thursday remained largely peaceful, barring minor skirmishes between workers of rival political parties.An estimated 68 per cent of the electorate voted across 51 constituencies comprising the northern part of the state.
The first phase had seen two people killed and six injured in Naxalite attacks. But on Thursday no such incidents were reported.
State chief electoral officer Alok Shukla confirmed that the election commission had filed an FIR against chief minister Raman Singh after a complaint that he had used radio FM channels to reach out to voters. Political content is not permitted on FM channels.
Some BJP activists allegedly pelted stones at the convoy of Congress leader and former chief minister Ajit Jogi at Marwahi constituency in Bilaspur from which he is contesting. Jogi was unhurt. “It shows the frustration of the BJP as it fears a humiliating defeat,” said Jogi.
Both the BJP and the Congress interpreted the high turnout in their own way. The BJP saw it as an expression of the people’s confidence in its government. The Congress claimed it reflected anti incumbency sentiment.
Thirteen constituencies classified as ‘highly sensitive’ — falling under Sarguja, Koriya and Jashpur districts — were known to have a Naxalite presence. But heavy security deployment prevented any untoward incident.
Votes will be counted on December 8.