An unprecedented 74.65 per cent of the nearly 1.40 crore electors voted in the second phase of polling for the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.
“We expect that there will be an increase in polling percentage, when all figures arrive,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur said.
With Tuesday’s feat, the State has broken its record, polling 74.65 per cent, if both phases are combined, which is 3.99 and 3.35 per cent higher than the 2008 and 2003 turnouts. Polling in the first phase last week was 70.8 per cent in 18 constituencies.
Four of the 19 districts — Surajpur and Balrampur in the north and Dhamteri and Balod in the central part of the State — crossed the 80-per cent mark. This is substantially higher than the 2008 figure. In the other districts, it was more or less 70 per cent. The lowest, 67.83 per cent, was recorded in Durg district which has six constituencies. Yet, this figure is almost 3 per cent higher than the 2008 turnout. The constituency that polled the highest number of votes is Kurud, at 88 per cent.
Voting was peaceful till afternoon. Around 3 p.m., one person was killed and three were injured when Central paramilitary forces opened fire at villagers who allegedly tried to disrupt polling at Vindrawani in central Chhattisgarh. The person who died of a bullet wound is said to be a worker of a political party.
Director-General of Police Ram Niwas confirmed the death of Ashoke Sen (33).
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.
In Bemetara and Janjgir Champa, supporters of the BJP and the Congress attacked each other. However, the situation was quickly brought under control, the police said.
District officials could not get the residents of Kamreed in the Sarangarh constituency to vote. The villagers said they were upset that political parties had failed to create amenities in the village. The other booth where no voter turned up was Bamnipalli, also in Sarangarh.
In Raipur South, both the BJP and the Congress claimed that their supporters were dropped out of the roll. Both parties threatened to take legal action against the Election Commission, if action was not taken. In Raipur West, BJP candidate Rajesh Munnat was involved in a minor scuffle with a poll observer. An FIR was filed against him.
The article has been corrected for a factual error.