67 percent voter turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls despite Maoist attacks

New Delhi, Nov.11 (ANI): The Election Commission (EC) said on Monday that the first phase of the two-phased polls in Chhattisgarh witnessed a voter turnout of 67 percent, despite sporadic attacks by Maoists, and rebel boycott calls.

"As per the information available, poll turnout is 67 percent, which is a tentative figure. These figures may undergo some change," Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan told media here today.

"Visible enthusiasm of voters to participate in democratic process inspite of threats and boycott calls, sporadic incidents of blasts, exchange of firing, and unearthing of IEDs in some places," he added.

He also confirmed that one CRPF jawan succumbed to his injuries in Dantewada District in exchange of fire between the security forces and the Naxals.

He said elections were held for 18 assembly constituencies spread over eight districts in the state today.

"Out of 90 assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh, today we had poll for 18 assembly constituencies in eight districts," he said.

Balakrishnan said that the Election Commission (EC) constantly monitored the security arrangements in the Naxal affected region, and also ensured that the voters gained confidence despite repeated threats from the Maoists.

"Security has been the most important concern. ECI reviewed the arrangements with the state and district administration, and made an elaborate arrangement to ensure that the elections, not only the security of the polling process, polling personnel and material, and ensure that the voters also gain confidence," he added.

The remaining 72 constituencies will go into polls on November 19.

The results of the Chhattisgarh elections, along with those in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, will be declared on December 8. (ANI)