The first phase of the Chhattisgarh polls kick-started at 7 am Monday amid warnings by Naxalities and attacks before the elections. Naxal outfits have called for boycotting the elections and have carried out over six attacks in a fortnight, which left 13 people dead, including video journalist of Indian broadcaster Doordarshan.
Meanwhile, both the ruling party BJP and the Opposition Congress have extensively campaigned to procure major votes.
On Saturday, the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had waived loans worth Rs. 3.5 lakh crore of select industrialists in 2014.
“In the last four-five years, Modiji gave Rs 3.5 lakh crore to the 15 richest people. While an amount of Rs 35,000 crore is needed yearly to run the MGNREGA scheme in the country, he waived loans worth 10 times that amount of 15 select industrialists,” he had been quoted as saying by PTI.
Police have stated concerns and challenges over escorting polling parties to the destination and bringing them back safely.
“Around one lakh security personnel, including central paramilitary force, have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling in the first phase,” Chhattisgarh’s Special Director General (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi told PTI.
To keep the situation calm, Indian Air Force choppers have been kept on standby. The second phase of the elections will be held on November 20.
Meanwhile, three IEDs have been detected near a polling booth in Konta’s Banda. CRPF bomb disposal squad is now in the process of defusing them, reported ANI.
Three IEDs have been detected near a polling booth in Konta’s Banda and CRPF Bomb disposal squad is in the process of defusing. Polling is underway at a makeshift booth under a tree. #ChhattisgarhAssemblyElections2018 https://t.co/YfWH3UBaqs
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2018
(with inputs from agencies)