Helicopters to drop poll parties in Bastar

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Narayanpur, CG, Nov 3 (UNI) In view of naxalite threat in Narayanpur Assembly Constituency of poll-bound Chhattisgarh, 44 polling parties would be ferried by helicopter to this district.

After being dropped by helicopter, polling parties would travel 10-15 km on foot to polling centres in this Assembly segment.

A total of 77,829 electorate -- including 38,667 men and 39,162 women -- would exercise their franchise to decide fate of six candidates, including State Minister Kedar Kashyap, at 122 polling centres.

Of these, 58 polling booths have been declared hyper-sensitive, 45 sensitive and 19 politically sensitive, according to district returning officer N S Mandavi.

Mr Mandavi said 37 police companies and two helicopters had been requisitioned to ensure smooth polling in Narayanpur Assembly segment.

Naxals active in Bastar region for over two decades had this time also given a call to electorate to boycott the polls. Low voter turnout is usually recorded in rural areas of the region due to the naxal threat.

More than 3,000 police personnel, including Seema Sashastra Bal, Chhattisgarh Special Armed Force, anti-bomb squads and special dogs would be deployed for security of polling parties and electorates in Abujhmad area of highly-sensitive Orchcha block where primitive tribals inhabit.

There are 237 villages in this area having a total electorate of 8,000, with Mohang polling centre having at least 95 voters, followed by Balbeda (103), Bada Peda (133) and Dhaudai with highest 476 voters.

Mr Kashyap, son of Bastar BJP MP Baliram Kashyap, is trying his luck from Narayanpur after Bhanpuri seat disappeared in delimitation. Mr Kashyap, who has 'Z plus' security cover, had arrived by a helicopter and addressed an election meeting here.

Congress candidate Rajuram Netam, who is also district janpad president, BSP nominee Susheela Kumeti, who is a village sarpanch, Bastar Prithak Rajya Party's Peeluram Pattawi, a former district excise office, CPI candidate Nirmal Nag and Independent Ramlal Usendi are other candidates.

UNI XC-PS SP RSA DS1345

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