Naxal-hit areas go to poll in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Nov 11(UNI) Campaigning for first phase of assembly elections in 39 of the total 90 constituencies in Chhattisgarh would come to an end tomorrow evening where polling will be held on November 14.

All political parties have deployed all resources at their command and brought senior leaders and cine stars in the field to garner support in favour of their candidates.

The first phase of the polling would be a major challenge for the Election Commission and the security personnel as the entire area is naxalite infested.

The prominent candidates whose fate would be decided in the first phase are chief minister Raman Singh (BJP-Rajnandgaon), assembly speaker Prem Prakash Pandey (BJP-Bhilai), leader of the opposition Mahendra Karma (Congress-Dantewada), state minister and Hemchandra Yadav (BJP-Durg) and former Congress minister Ravindra Choubey (Saja).

BJP's Prime Minister nominee Lal Krishna Advani, BJP President Rajnath Singh, BJP leaders M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, cine star Hema Malini and cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu were among the leaders ,who were campaigning for the ruling party in the state witnessing a second assembly election after it was formed in 2000.

While on the other hand Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and several union ministers were campaigning for the party candidates to oust the BJP government. Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address election meeting tomorrow at Mahasamund, the Lok Sabha constitutuency of former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

Leaders of other parties including the NCP, BSP and CPI had also campaigned in favour of their candidates.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in all the 39 constituencies spread over 10 districts.

Central forces have been deployed in all the polling booths of the naxalite-infested Bastar division.

The inter-state borders would be sealed while patrolling had been intensified in the Bastar region, police sources said.

In Bastar division, out of the total 2,256 polling booth, 2,218 were identified as sensitive or hyper sensitive.

UNI MB KV SP 1514

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