A total of 190 candidates were in fray for 18 seats in the first phase of election in Chhattisgarh.
Raipur: At least 70 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections on Monday.
"Voting has ended, turnout is 70 per cent till now in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly election. Figures will be updated later," Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioners told the media.
18 of 90 Chhattisgarh constituencies went to polls in the first phase.
Voting began in 10 assembly seats of Maoist-affected districts at 7 am across seven districts in Bastar region and Rajnandgaon district. Officials have deployed 100,000 security personnel and pressed helicopters into service to airlift polling staff to booths amid a threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the democratic exercise.
Polling began in eight more seats an hour later.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was among the prominent candidates whose fate was sealed in EVMs during the first phase of voting.
A total of 190 candidates were in fray for 18 seats in the first phase of election in Chhattisgarh. Of the 18 seats, Congress had won 12 while the BJP bagged 6 in 2013.
The second phase of polling on 72 seats in Chhattisgarh will be held on November 20 and the votes will be counted on December 11 along with that of Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan where assembly polls will be held over the coming weeks.
Here are updates on the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections:
04:52 pm: 56.58 per cent voter turnout recorded till 4:30 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.
61.47 per cent in Kondagaon,
63.51 per cent in Keshkal,
62 per cent in Kanker,
58 per cent in Bastar,
49 per cent in Dantewada,
60.5 per cent in Khairagarh,
64 per cent in Dongargarh,
65.5 per cent in Khujji.
03:58 pm: Security forces defused IED detected on the road leading to Dwarapara polling booth, under PS Bairamgarh in Bijapur.
03:26 am: 47.18 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections.
02:50 pm: After the Nilwaya Naxal attack, the challenges have gone up. Naxals 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
02:44 pm: People in Dantewada's Madenda village cast their votes even after threat from the Naxals to cut their fingers if the ink mark is seen on their fingers. Local says, "There are 263 registered voters in the village and many are voting even after the threat."
01:14 pm: 25.15 per cent voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
01:12 pm: In Sukma, 103-year-old woman Soni Bai exercised her voting rights at a polling booth in Gorgunda's Devarpalli. His son carried her to the polling station in his arms.
12:48 pm: Two Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) jawan injured in the encounter that broke out between security forces and Naxals in Bijapur's Pamed area.
12:21 pm: Encounter broke out between security forces and Naxals in Bijapur's Pamed area at around 12:20 pm today. Firing underway.
12:20 pm: Certain sources are spreading rumours that EVMs are malfunctioning repeatedly. This is to clarify that above info is false. Voting is going on smoothly. If at all, any glitches are noticed, issue is sorted out as quickly as possible: Election Commission
12:03 pm: Voters in Jagdalpur's Gandhi Nagar ward protest outside the polling centre saying, "The names of many voters are missing including those who have been living here for the past 25 years."
11:33 am: 16.24 per cent voter turnout recorded till now in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 in 18 assembly constituencies.
11:31 am: In Rajnandgaon, huge voter turnout at the polling station in Naxal-affected Manpur's Pardoni village where Naxali posters and banners asking people to boycott elections had been seen.
10:27 am: Three IEDs have been detected near a polling booth in Konta's Banda and CRPF Bomb disposal squad is in the process of defusing. Polling is underway at a makeshift booth under a tree.
10:17 am: In Dantewada, a differently-abled man reaches Chintagupha polling booth to cast his vote in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
10:15 am: 10.7 per cent voter turnout recorded till 10 am in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 in 18 constituencies.
10:10 am: An IED was detected near a polling booth in Konta's Banda. Voting has been shifted to a makeshift polling booth established under a tree.
09:59 am: Voting underway in interior areas of Kistaram, Palem and Bejji in the Naxal-affected Sukma district.
09:50 am: Election Commission says 53 polling stations out of the total of 4,336 reported delayed start of polling due to technical reasons.
100 per cent polling stations have, however, reported smooth polling with long queues outside.
09:20 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves from Delhi for Chhattisgarh. He will address a public rally in Bilaspur.
09:30 am: A visually impaired person casts his vote at a polling station in Dantewada's Geedam.
08:45 am: Voting has resumed at the Pink polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari.
8:32 am: Voting has stopped due to a technical problem in the EVM at the Pink polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari.
08:24 am: Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat says, “Polling is being held in 18 constituencies of Chhattisgarh today. They are Left Wing Extremism affected area. Polls are being held in two phases to provide special security in these 18 constituencies. These 18 areas are kept in first phase so that paramilitary forces remain fresh.”
“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,” Rawat adds.
08:17 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged voters to participate in the voting process in Chhattisgarh.
08:01 am: IED was triggered by Naxals on Tumakpal-Nayanar road at around 5:30 am to target security forces. No harm to security forces and polling party. Party safely reached to Nayanar polling booth no. 183 under PS Katekalyan: Devnath, AIG (Anti-Naxal Operations)
07:55 am: In Sukma, a 100-year-old woman reaches a polling station in Dornapal to cast her vote in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
07:49 am: Voting to start in 5 constituencies of Rajnandgaon and 3 constituencies of Bastar at 8 am in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
07:11 am: In Dantewada, 1 to 2 kilograms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasted by Naxals near Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block. Voting is underway for 10 out of 18 seats in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
07:01 am: Voting begins for 10 out of 18 seats in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
06:57 am: Visuals from a polling station in Rajnandgaon's Metepar village ahead of the first phase of voting in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
06:50 am: As per electoral rolls, there are 31,80,014 voters, news agency PTI reported. 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.
06:44 am: Visuals from a polling station in Dantewada ahead of the first phase of voting in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.