New Delhi: An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) weighing 1-2 kilogram planted by Naxals blasted near Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block of Chhattisgarh. More details are awaited. It is to be noted here that voting is underway for the first phase of assembly election in the state. (CATCH LIVE UPDATES HERE)
Amid tight security, polling began at 7 a.m. in 10 of the 18 constituencies in the first phase to elect a new Chhattisgarh Assembly, officials said.
Nearly one lakh security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed across the state for the first phase, amid the threat from Maoists who have called for a boycott of the elections. These are in addition to the existing paramilitary personnel and 200 companies of state forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the tribal-dominated state. Indian Air Force and BSF choppers have also been pressed into service.
The electoral exercise in these 10 constituencies will end at 3 p.m. Polling will take place in eight other places from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
The 10 seats where early voting is being held are Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon.
Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon and Khujji constituencies in Rajnandgaon district and Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot in Bastar district will see polling from 8 a.m.
As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase of the state polls. There are 31,79,520 voters, including 16,21,839 males, 15,57,592 females and 89 of the third gender.
All the 18 constituencies are known as Maoist hubs. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled Chhattisgarh for the past 15 years.