Naxal threat dampens poll fervour in Bijapur

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Bijapur, CG, Nov 4 (UNI) Canvassing in lone Bijapur assembly seat in this hyper-sensitive district of Chhattisgarh has been badly affected by a call for boycott of polls by naxalites.

With just ten days to go for the exercise of franchise, the aspirants have preferred low-key campaigns through their relatives and family members.

No banner or poster of any political party is visible in interior regions of Bijapur.

According to aspirants, campaigns had been limited to 10 km radius of Bijapur district due to naxalite threat.

Altogether seven candidates are in the fray from this seat.

They include Rajendra Pambhoi (Cong), Mahesh Gagda (BJP), Lakshmi Narayan (CPI), Dashrath Hemla (BSP), Poonam Santosh (BJS), Anil Butka (Shiv Sena) and independent Chinnaram Gota.

A total of 1,39, 429 electorate would exercise their franchise at 224 polling centres, of which 164 are hyper-sensitive and 60 sensitive.

In order to ensure free and fair polls in Bijapur, 163 police companies have been requisitioned besides two helicopter for ferrying polling parties to polling centre.

Helicopters would drop 46 polling parties to polling centres, while 56 polling parties would go 10-15 km on foot, 30 polling parties would be sent in motorcycle and 40 polling parties in other vehicles.

Twenty-five polling booths had been made for 6,452 voters in 14 relief camps in Bijapur constituency. Earlier, about 20,000 people were residing in these camps but have now returned to their villages.

Six police jawans had died during a naxal-triggered landmine blast during previous elections. Besides, re-polling was held at 34 polling centres.

Congress candidate Rajendra Pambhai had won by a margin of 2,700 votes during previous elections.

UNI XC-PS 1255

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