Chhattisgarh voted on Tuesday in the second and final phase of the Assembly elections. Over one lakh police personnel were deployed, PTI reported. As many as 19,296 polling booths were set up for the second phase.
The first phase of polls for 18 seats across eight districts, including in multiple suspected Maoist hotbeds, took place on November 12. A voter turnout of 76.28% was recorded in the first phase.
The votes will be counted on December 11. Besides Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls over the next month.
Here’s how the day unfolded:
7.19 pm: 71.93% voter turnout recorded by 6 pm, says the Election Commission. Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha says voter turnout is slightly higher than the record of 71.13% in 2013.
7.18 pm: The Election Commission praises the panel’s officials, observers, security personnel and voters for contributing to a relatively peaceful voting exercise.
5.41 pm: The voter turnout till 5 pm was 64.8%, reports ANI.
5.05 pm: Raman Singh says the Congress leadership in the state is divided. “There are many factions, and several chief ministerial aspirants...” he adds. “The divide is so deep that their leaders do not even sit together in a helicopter.”
5.03 pm: Chief Minister Raman Singh says there is no anti-incumbency in the state, reports the Hindustan Times. “Anti-incumbency works against a government that fails to live up to the expectation of people,” he says. “If you compare what Chhattisgarh was 15 years back and where it stands now, you will realise that there is a positive mood for the BJP.”
5 pm: The voter turnout till 4 pm stands at 58.47%, reports ANI.
3.14 pm: The voter turnout till 2.55 pm is 45.2%, reports ANI.
1.30 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh casts his vote.
12.47 pm: The voter turnout at 12 pm stands at 25.2%, according to The Indian Express.
11.25 am: A delegation of Congress leaders, led by Rajya Sabha MP PL Punia, meets the Election Commission in Delhi alleging attempts to misuse and tamper with electronic voting machines in the state, according to ANI. EVMs malfunctioned in some booths in districts like Raipur, Ambikapur and Ramanujganjas.
10.43 am: A voter turnout of 12.54% was recorded till 10 am, ANI reports.
10.30 am: Janta Congress Chhattisgarh President Ajit Jogi, who is contesting from Marwahi segment, casts his vote at a polling booth in Pendra with his son Amit Jogi.
10.15 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi requests voters to participate in large numbers in “the festival of democracy”.
9.05 am: BJP candidate Siddhnath Paikra from Samri constituency was detained late on Monday after cash worth Rs 2 lakh was recovered from the vehicle he was travelling in, The Indian Express reports.
8.04 am: Voting begins for the second phase of elections to the 90-member Assembly.
7.30 am: There are 1,079 candidates in the fray for 72 constituencies in 19 districts. Nine ministers, the Assembly speaker and other prominent Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders are contesting in the polls today. The BJP and the Congress are contesting all 72 seats in the fray for phase two. The Bahujan Samaj Party is contesting 25 seats, while the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh has fielded candidates in 46 constituencies. The Aam Aadmi Party is contesting in 66 constituencies.
7 am: Chhattisgarh is set to go to polls at 8 am for the second and final phase of the Assembly elections in 72 seats across 19 districts amid high security. Polling will end at 5 pm.
Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi is contesting from Marwahi segment, where the BJP and the Congress have fielded Archana Porte and Gulab Singh. Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India have formed a coalition.
Chief Minister Raman Singh’s home district Kawardha also goes to polls today. Singh, who has been the chief minister for 15 years, contested from Rajnandgaon where the voting took place during first phase of polls. “We are expecting a pro-incumbency vote in the second phase also and people will come out in huge numbers this time also to vote for the BJP,” Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said on Monday. “We will definitely coming back to power for the record fourth-time in a row.’