Voting for final phase of assembly elections in Chhattisgarh begins

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Raipur, Nov 20 : Voters queued up outside polling booths in Chhattisgarh today to cast their votes for the second and final phase of the state assembly elections.

The second phase of the polling for 51 constituencies began today at 8:00 a.m.

Though the turnout was not heavy during the morning hours, people were enthusiastic to exercise their franchise.

"It is good if citizens cast their votes. Whoever wins is a separate thing and it is ok....but whichever government wins, it should work for the benefit of the people," said Sunder Bai, a voter.

Voicing similar opinion another voter said that they would like to vote to power a party that would resolve their problems.

"To cast our votes is our right. Irrespective of what people say, one should come out to vote. If we vote to power the right political party, our region will progress. Our problems would be sorted out and resolved if we elect the right government," said Usha Mahajan, another voter.

No untoward incident was reported from any of the constituencies in the morning hours.

Security has been tightened in the state, especially in Maoist infested areas following the boycott of polls call by the Maoists rebels.

Political future of 687 candidates including 50 women will be sealed in the EVMs with 88,14,228 voters expected to exercise their franchise.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting on all 51 seats while the Congress has candidates on 48 seats, leaving three seats to its ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Besides former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and his wife Renu Jogi, prominent leaders who are in the fray include BJP State President Vishnudeo Sai, Deputy Speaker Badridhar Diwan, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam, Health Minister Amar Agrawal, Dilipsingh Judeo's son Yudhvir Singh Judeo and former Home Mminister Nand Kumar Patel.

There are 12,073 polling stations across the eight districts including the Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba, Raigarh, Sarguja, Koria, Jashpur and Janjgir and Champa, where elections will be held amid tight security.

As many as 2608 booths have been classified as sensitive and 355 booths as hypersensitive.

Voting for 39 Assembly seats was held in the first phase on November 14. The first phase of polls in Chhattisgarh, which registered 55 per cent turnout, was marred by disruptions and Naxal violence.

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