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Chhattisgarh polls: 5.71% voter turnout till 9 am; Maoists trigger blast in Dhamtari

A voter turnout of 5.71 percent was recorded till 9 a.m. in Chhattisgarh second phase of Assembly polls on Friday even as Maoists tried to create fear by triggering a blast in Dhamtari district.

A group of Maoists tried to disrupt the peaceful situation in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district; however, the voting was continued amid the presence of central and state security forces. An incident of IED blast was also reported in Dhamtari, however, no causality was reported.

Reports said that the Maoists carried out an IED blast to target the CRPF jawans who were on a flag march to ensure a peaceful election in the region. As per the report, Maoists on Thursday declared a boycott of the election and pamphlets were also distributed in some localities in Dhamtari.

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Notably, during the first phase of the polling in Chhattisgarh on November 7, IED blasts were triggered by Maoists in three – four places, including Sukma district. One jawan of the CRPF CoBRA Battalion was injured in an IED blast.

In Chhattisgarh, while the main fight is between the BJP and the Congress, a three-way contest is taking place in several seats of the Bilaspur division where former CM Ajit Jogi’s party and the BSP have pockets of influence. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has also been focusing on seats in the division.

Of the total 18,833 booths, 700 are ‘sangwari’ polling booths which are being entirely managed by women. Chief Minister Bupesh Baghel (Patan seat), T.S. Singh Deo (Ambikapur), Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant (Sakti), eight state ministers, including Tamrdhwaj Sahu (Durg Rural) and Ravindra Choubey (Saja), are among the prominent Congress candidates in the second phase.

From the BJP, state unit chief and MP Arun Sao (Lormi), Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narayan Chandel (Janjgir-Champa), Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh (Bharatpur-Sonhat-ST), MP Gomti Sai (Pathalgaon-ST) are in the fray.

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