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

Seniors-documentary-Parents

Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CHAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Seniors-documentary-Parents

Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CHAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »

KANGANA RANAUT

Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she’s happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‘formula’ and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »