Copters to be deployed in Chhattisgarh phase 2

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Raipur, Nov 18 (UNI) Two helicopters would be deployed in Surguja district to assist polling authorities and conduct an aerial survey of an adjoining naxalism-affected area in Jharkhand during Chhattisgarh's second-phase polling on Thursday.

State Election Office sources said here today that there was no Maoist threat in the northern part of the state.

During the first phase on November 14, the Election Commission of India (ECI) deployed ten choppers to transport poll teams in Bastar division. Indian Air Force Sergeant Mustafa Ali, who was aboard a Mi-8 copter, was martyred in Bijapur district's Pidiya after insurgents directed a heavy volume of groundfire at the helicopter.

Poll teams for 51 constituencies -- where voting would take place from 0800 hrs to 1700 hrs on Thursday -- would leave for respective booths tomorrow.

However, the ECI was yet to decide on the date for repolling in 32 booths of Bastar division where voting was held in the first phase. An estimated 70 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise rights in 39 constituencies.

Meanwhile, the ECI transferred Bilaspur district's Achanakmar Forest Reserve Superintendent B P Singh as Deputy Manager, Katghora Forest Division. The ECI asked him to join by tomorrow afternoon else he would be treated as suspended.

The ECI has permitted only one vehicle each for use by candidates in their respective constituencies, after seeking permission, on polling day. Similarly, a nominee can avail one vehicle for his or her polling agent and supporters on polling day after the ECI's nod.

UNI MB AC 2008

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