Chhattisgarh assembly elections 2018 Highlights: Polling was peaceful, voters’ enthusiasm appreciable, says CEC

Polling for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections took place on Monday with Election Commission stating that around 70% voter turnout was recorded. Eighteen seats spread across eight Maoist-affected districts went to polls in the state. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is eyeing a fourth straight term in the tribal-dominated state as the opposition Congress seeks to return to power after 15 years.At least six Maoists were reported to be killed in two encounters with security personnel in Bijapur and Sukma districts.Here are the highlights:

Chhattisgarh assembly elections 2018: Nearly one lakh security personnel have been deployed in eight districts, amid threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the elections(HT Photo)
Chhattisgarh assembly elections 2018: Nearly one lakh security personnel have been deployed in eight districts, amid threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the elections(HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 12, 2018 10:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
7:30 pm IST

Polling was peaceful, voters’ enthusiasm appreciable: CEC

Polling was peaceful. In comparison to earlier elections, this elections have been singular achievement of the people working in fields. Attempts were made to create fear among people but enthusiasm in voters was appreciable: OP Rawat, Chief Election Commissioner

7:00 pm IST

Only 1 % of EVM, 1.9 % VVPATs were changed: EC

Only 1% of EVM and 1.9 % VVPATs were changed, says Sudeep Jain, Election Commission.

6:30 pm IST

Two Maoists killed in Sukma

Two Maoists were killed after an encounter with District Reserve Guard (DRG) in Sukma district of Bastar region.

“Encounter took place at 5.30 pm when DRG security parties were coming back from Chitolnar who were giving cover to polling parties,” said special director general ( naxal operations) DM Awasthi.

6:20 pm IST

Voter turnout 70% till 5 pm: EC

Voting has ended, turnout is 70% till now in the first phase of Chhattisgarh polls. Figures will be updated later: Umesh Sinha, Election Commission.

Voter turnout break-up

Kondagaon- 61.47 % , Dantewada- 49 %
Khairagarh- 70.14 % Dongargarh- , 71 %
Dongargaon- , 71 % Khujji- 72 %
Keshkal- 63.51 % Kanker- 62 %
Bastar- 58 %

6:00 pm IST

Day after resigning, Chhattisgarh Congress VP joins BJP

A day after resigning as the vice president of Congress’ Chhattisgarh unit, Ghanaram Sahu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of the party chief Amit Shah.

5:47 pm IST

Voters return after casting ballot

5:02pm IST

Surrendered Maoist couple votes in Narayanpur

Maoist couple Mainuram and Rajbatti, who surrendered in December 2014, voted in Narayanpur district.

4:59pm IST

56.58% voter turnout recorded till 4:30pm

56.58% voter turnout recorded till 4:30 pm with 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.

4:01 pm IST

Voting ends in 10 seats

Voting in 10 out of the 19 seats ended at 3 pm.

3:50 pm IST

At least 4 Maoists killed, 2 CoBRA jawans injured in encounter

At least four Maoists were reportedly killed and two CRPF personnel suffered bullet wounds as a gun battle broke out near Bijapur’s Majiguda village.

3:27pm IST

47.18% voter turnout till 3pm

47.18% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections.

3:04pm IST

Voter turnout 37.6%

EC sources said 37.6% votes have been cast till 2pm in 18 constituencies.

2:47pm IST

Challenges have gone: CRPF official

After the Nilwaya Maoist attack, the challenges have gone up. Maoists had threatened villagers against voting. We assured the villagers of a secure environment, put in place a three-level security so that people can vote without fear: CRPF official tells ANI.

2:45pm IST

People vote in face of Maoist threats

People in Dantewada’s Madenda village cast their votes even after threat from Maoists that they would cut off fingers if the ink is seen. A local told ANI, “There are 263 registered voters in the village and many are voting even after the threat.”

1:40pm IST

Turnout in Keshkal and Kondagaon

Keshkal and Kondagaon also record high turnouts of 44.04% and 46.04%.

1:18pm IST

High turnout in Rajnandgaon’s Mohala-Manpur

Narayanpur records 39% polling till 1pm, Mohala-Manpur 52.50% and Konta 33%.

1:15pm IST

103-year-old woman casts vote

103-year-old woman Soni Bai exercised her voting rights at a polling booth in Gorgunda’s Devarpalli, reports ANI. Her son carried her to the polling station in his arms.

1:14pm IST

Voter turnout reaches 25.15%

25.15% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh elections, reports ANI.

12:48pm IST

22.50% voter turnout

Voting percentage reaches 22.50, according to EC sources.

12:47pm IST

Encounter between Maoists, forces

Encounter breaks out between security forces and Maoists in Bijapur’s Pamed area. Two CoBRA jawans injured.

12:46pm IST

Beware of rumours: EC

Certain sources are spreading rumours that EVMs are malfunctioning repeatedly. This is to clarify that above information is false. Voting is going on smoothly. If at all any glitches are noticed, the issue is sorted out as quickly as possible: Election Commission.

12:45pm IST

Oppn defends Maoists, calls them revolutionaries: PM Modi

Bilaspur must be a smart city. The government will provide all help in that direction. Only BJP can ensure Chhattisgarh is free of Maoists. Those who gave birth to Maoism, will they ever eliminate it? They defend Maoists, call them revolutionaries: PM Modi

12:42pm IST

Ayushman Bharat has made healthcare affordable for poor: PM Modi

Opposition has a knack of making fun of all our schemes. Earlier there was lack of healthcare; medicines and treatment were expensive. Due to Ayushman Bharat, healthcare has become affordable for poor: PM Modi

12:36pm IST

PM Modi defends demonetisation

Due to demonetisation, black money could be traced, companies involved in illegal trade could be traced. Earlier, the money was hidden inside homes. After demonetisation, the money had to come out. This is your money: PM Modi

12:34pm IST

Poor people deposited 90,000 crore in banks: PM Modi

Poor people deposited 90,000 crore in banks. The number of houses we built for poor in four years, Congress would have taken 30 years. More than 6 lakh houses, including 1.5 lakh under PM Awas Yojana for tribals, have been distributed in Chhattisgarh: PM Modi

12:30pm IST

Congress’ politics centred on one family: PM Modi

Congress’ politics is centred on one family. Which poor doesn’t want gas connection or bank balance? But the family in Congress is disconnected from people. They neither have the will nor the leadership to bring changes: PM Modi

12:26pm IST

Oppn wants to divide people: PM Modi

Opposition wants to instil a sense of caste among people. But people have seen through that. Opposition is confused about how to face BJP.

12:20pm IST

BJP committed to development: PM Modi

Some people want to create differences between people — between rich and poor, between urban and rural. BJP believes if India has to grow, differences among people should be done away with. Only development can do that, and BJP is committed to that: PM Modi

12:20pm IST

High turnout message to those who think power can be wielded through gun: PM Modi

Those who think power can be wielded through the gun have been proved wrong. There should be competition among men and women in every village as to who can ensure more turnout. Thank EC for their efforts: PM Modi

12:18pm IST

High turnout encouraging: PM Modi

Bilaspur is the rice bowl of India. It can steer India’s growth. When poll dates were announced, many pundits thought that due to the festive season, turnout will be low. But they have been proved wrong: PM Narendra Modi in Bilaspur.

12:08pm IST

Many allege names missing from voters’ list

Voters in Jagdalpur’s Gandhi Nagar ward protest outside the polling centre alleging that the names of many voters are missing, including those who have been living in the area for the past 25 years, reports ANI.

12:04pm IST

Visuals from Bijapur

12:00pm IST

Visuals from Sukma

11:44am IST

BSF officer’s mortal remains brought to native village

Mortal remains of BSF sub-inspector Mahender Singh who lost his life in an IED blast in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker yesterday, has been brought to his residence in Dumariya village in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, reports ANI.

11:36am IST

More visuals from Pardoni

11:35am IST

Visuals from Jagdalpur and Geedam

11:34am IST

Huge turnout in village where Maoist posters were seen

Rajnandgaon: Huge voter turnout at the polling station in Maoist-affected Manpur’s Pardoni village where Maoist posters and banners asking people to boycott elections had been seen, reports ANI.

11:26am IST

16.24% voter turnout till now

The 18 constituencies recorded an overall 16.24% voter turnout till now, EC sources said. Rajnandgaon recorded 39% turnout, Keshkal 26%, Konta 19% and Bastar 17%.

11:16am IST

Raman Singh confident of victory

11:14am IST

Amit Shah appeals people to cast their votes

11:10am IST

Visuals from Motipur

10:40am IST

Explosive defused, one arrested

One kg explosive recovered from Pandepara on Bijapur-Bhairamgarh-Keshkutul Road. CRPF’s bomb disposal squad defused them. One suspect has been arrested from the spot.

10:32am IST

Technical snag reported

EVMs in Kanker and Bijapur districts report technical snags. Voters wait in queues and polling is yet to begin.

10:28am IST

Visuals from Bheji

Brisk polling was reported from Bheji amid tight security. In 2017, 14 CRPF personnel were killed here.

10:25am IST

Votes polled till 10 am up compared to last time

The Maoist hotbeds of Bheji and Gorkha recorded more votes polled this time:

Bhejji 1: 72 votes, last time 1

Bhejji 2: 11 votes, last time 0

Gorkha: 20 votes, last time 0

10:16am IST

14% voter turnout so far

14% voter turnout recorded till 10 am in the first phase of polling, EC sources say.

10:12am IST

Three IEDs detected in Konta

Three IEDs have been detected near a polling booth in Konta’s Banda and a CRPF bomb disposal squad is in the process of defusing them, reports ANI.

10:02am IST

Voting so far peaceful in Maoist hub

People are seen queueing up outside polling booths as voting is underway, in the interior areas of Kistaram, Palem and Bejji in Maoist-affected Sukma district.

9:52am IST

53 polling stations reported delayed start: EC

53 polling stations out of the total 4,336 reported delayed start of voting due to technical reasons. However, 100% polling stations have reported smooth polling with long queues outside: Election Commission.

9:32am IST

Visuals from Geedam

A visually impaired man casts his vote at a polling station in Dantewada’s Geedam.

9:25am IST

PM leaves for Chhattisgarh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Chhattisgarh from New Delhi, where he will address a public rally in Bilaspur, reports ANI.

9:14am IST

Raman Singh’s son Abhishek meets people

8:50am IST

PM Modi urges people to vote

8:48am IST

More visuals from Konta

8:46am IST

Voting resumes in Kamla College

Voting resumes at women-only polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon’s Sangwari, reports ANI.

8:45am IST

Physically-disabled man arrives to vote at Konta

8:42am IST

900 polling personnel air-dropped: CEC

Nearly 900 polling personnel have been air-dropped from helicopters so that they can reach safely. Over 16,500 polling personnel went by road. I think all will be in a position to deliver peaceful elections: OP Rawat

8:40am IST

Polls in two phases to provide special security: CEC

Polling is being held in 18 constituencies of Chhattisgarh today. These are Left-Wing Extremism affected areas. Polls are being held in two phases to provide special security in these 18 constituencies: chief election commissioner OP Rawat tells ANI

8:34am IST

Technical glitch halts voting in one booth

Voting has stopped due to technical problem in EVM at a women-only polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon’s Sangwari, reports ANI.

8:20am IST

30 candidates in Rajnandgaon

Rajnandgaon constituency will be keenly watched as the highest numbers of 30 candidates are contesting from here. The lowest of five candidates are contesting from Bastar and Kondagaon constituencies each.

8:16am IST

Raman Singh versus Karuna Shukla

The fate of incumbent CM Raman Singh who has been pitted from Rajnandgaon constituency will be sealed today. The Congress has fielded former PM late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla from this seat against Singh.

8:05am IST

Voting begins in rest of the seats

Voting begins in rest of the eight seats in the first phase of polling.

7:55am IST

Visuals from Sukma

7:53am IST

Reserved seats

Of the 18 seats, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and one for Scheduled Castes (SC).

7:52am IST

Visuals from Rajnandgaon

7:44am IST

Prominent Congress candidates

Nine sitting Congress MLAs — Manoj Singh Mandavi (Bhanupratappur), Mohan Lal Markam (Kondagaon), Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar), Deepak Kumar Baij (Chitrakot), Devati Karma (Dantewada), Kawasi Lakhma (Konta), Girwar Janghel (Khairagarh), Santram Netam (Keshkal) and Daleshwar Sahu (Dongargaon) — are trying their luck.

7:40am IST

Prominent BJP candidates

Prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase of polling are chief minister Raman Singh, state ministers Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur) and Mahesh Gagda (Bijpaur), as well as BJPs Kanker Lok Sabha MP Vikram Usendi (Antagarh).

7:33am IST

Women voters outnumber men

Women voters outnumber men for the first phase of polling, with 16,22,492 female voters on the rolls against 15,57,435 men. There are 87 third gender voters as well.

7:30am IST

190 candidates try their luck in first phase

In the first phase, 190 candidates are in the fray and as per electoral rolls, there are 31,80,014 voters. As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase and 19,079 polling personnel have been deployed.

7:23am IST

Seats that will vote from 8am

Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon and Khujji constituencies in Rajnandgaon district and Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot in Bastar district will see polling from 8 am.

7:22am IST

Early voting seats

The 10 seats where voting has already started are Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon.

7:12am IST

IED blast

IED blast in Nayanar village of Katekalyan area in Dantewada. Blast occurred when troops of the 195 Battalion of CRPF were approaching a polling booth. No injury to troops reported.

7:07am IST

Polling begins

Voting begins in 10 out of the 18 seats going to polls.

7:00am IST

Visuals from Rajnandgaon

6:50am IST

Visuals from Dantewada

6:30 am IST

18 constituencies go to polls today

Voting in 10 of the 18 constituencies spread across eight Maoist-affected districts will begin at 7 am and end at 3 pm, while in the rest of the eight constituencies, polling will start at 8 am and end at 5 pm.

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