Polling sluggish in Bastar’s Maoist dominated areas

Polling sluggish in Bastar's Maoist dominated areas

Jagdalpur, April 10: Voting was sluggish in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency’s Maoist-dominated forested areas, but the urban centres reported brisk polling. Balloting was peaceful.

A Chhattisgarh election commission official said that till 10 a.m., 18-20 percent votes had been cast and polling was peaceful.

There was a healthy turnout of voters in urban areas like Jagdalpur town.

However, the enthusiasm was comparatively much less in the interior, forested areas which are dominated by Maoists. The polling was slow.

Over 1.29 million voters will decide the fate of eight candidates in the constituency where roughly 80 percent of the total 1,797 polling booths have been declared “ultra sensitive”. The remaining 10 seats will see polling April 17 and 24.

Bastar, which comprises six assembly segments, has more female voters at 665,290 than 633,681 male voters.

The main contest is between Bharatiya Janata Party nominee and sitting MP Dinesh Kashyap and Congress candidate Deepak Karma, son of late Mahendra Karma, the founder of the controversial Salwa Judum civil militia movement.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Soni Sori, a tribal woman from the district now on bail after facing charges of acting as a conduit for Maoists, is also in the fray.