The first phase of Chhattisgarh Elections at 18 assembly segments across the eight Naxal-hit districts took place on Monday, November 12, 2018. According to Election Commission of India, a voter turnout of between 60-70 per cent was recorded at Bastar division and Rajnandgaon district under the shadow of the Maoist threat.
Despite heavy security cover, there were reports of three encounters between security forces and Naxals, and IED blasts at several places, including Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma.
Five personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police Force, were injured in two separate encounters with ultras in Pamed police station area of Bijapur district. While two Naxals were gunned down in Sukma encounter, other three were eliminated in Bijapur.
Addressing a press conference post assembly polls, the Election Commission said 70 per cent turnout was recorded in phase one of Chhattisgarh polls. However, Chhattisgarh chief electoral officer Subrat Sahoo, told reporters that 60.49 per cent turnout was recorded, adding the figure may go up.
The final turnout will be declared once final reports are received from all constituencies.
As many as 4,341 polling booths were set up and 19,079 polling personnel deployed for the first phase of Chhattisgarh Elections. During the polling, 53 ballot units, 47 control units and 84 VVPATs of EVMs were replaced due to a technical snag.
Besides the ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress, the other parties in the fray include Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), former chief minister Ajit Jogi's JCC(J) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
The second phase of polling for remaining 72 constituencies, out of the 90-member Assembly, will take place on November 20. The counting of the votes will be taken up on December 11, 2018.