One dies as two million defy Maoists, vote in Chhattisgarh (Roundup)

Published: November 11, 2013

Raipur, Nov 11 (IANS) More than two million voters — or 67 percent of the electorate — defied Maoists to vote in the first phase of Chhattisgarh’s assembly elections that marked the start of the biggest popularity contest ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Sporadic violence left a trooper dead.

All through the day, men and women from the predominantly tribal belt of the sprawling Bastar region and Rajnandgaon district queued up to vote in an election in which the Congress is determined to end 10 years of reign by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After Maoists called for a boycott of the exercise, ballotting began on a dull note — at 7 a.m. in all 12 constituencies of Bastar and one in Rajnandgaon and an hour later in the remaining five seats in Rajnandgaon.

Polling rapidly picked up as the day progressed. About 30-35 percent had voted by afternoon. By the time curtains came down, 67 percent of the 2.9 million voters involved in Monday’s voting had exercised their franchise.

A total of 143 candidates were in the fray in the 18 constituencies.

“The poll process was marked by visible enthusiasm. It was largely peaceful. There were sporadic incidents of firing,” Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan said in New Delhi.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper V.C. Joseph, from the 186th battalion, was killed in a gun battle with Maoists at Dantewada.

A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was injured in a bomb blast in Kanker district while a bomb weighing some 10 kg was recovered in Bijapur, police said.

To scare away voters, Maoists triggered multiple blasts in polling booths located in forested areas in Konta, Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Antagarh, Bhanupratapur and Narayanpur areas.

Balloting for the 90-member assembly in Chhattisgarh are being held in two phases Nov 11 and 19.

The sprawling region where voting took place Monday includes Bastar, which with around 40,000 sq km is bigger than the size of Kerala.

Bastar accounts for 12 assembly constituencies and Rajnandgaon six. Together, this mineral rich area — with dense forests and Maoist hideouts — is infamously known as the red zone.

There was tight security at all 4,142 polling booths. Among these, 1,311 were declared “hyper-sensitive” and 1,517 “sensitive” — official euphemism to mean they were prone to violence.

Director General of Police Ramnivas said 15 Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs were recovered from different parts of Bastar.

Chief Minister Raman Singh said the high percentage of voting revealed “enthusiasm” among voters which he added was a “good sign for the BJP”.

The BJP, which has ruled the state since December 2003, has vowed to win a third five-year term.

The Congress too said it was “elated by the high voting percentage” which it claimed “is going surely against the incumbent”.

Congress and BJP workers clashed in Jagdalpur and Konta constituencies. Congress candidate from Jagdalpur Samu Kashyap was injured in the fighting and taken to hospital.

The `None of The Above’ (NOTA) option, widely called the Right to Reject, made its debut in India in the Monday polls.

IANS 2013-11-11 19:12:05

[+]

Tags: , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Food Bank-forensics

Surrey woman makes career switch from forensics to food bank

AMY REID SURREY NOW  WHALLEY — With a masters in bioethics and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Feezah Jaffer never imagined her landing spot would…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Food Bank-forensics

Surrey woman makes career switch from forensics to food bank

AMY REID SURREY NOW  WHALLEY — With a masters in bioethics and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Feezah Jaffer never imagined her landing spot would…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »

Sikhs to quit Trudeau's Liberals

Sikhs ‘across Canada’ to jump Trudeau ship

Nominations issue: ‘We are not Liberals, that’s for sure,’ says general secretary of Vancouver temple LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A large group of Sikhs in…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »