Raipur, April 17: An estimated 62 percent of about 4.6 million voters in Chhattisgarh cast their votes Thursday, amid rain and Maoist threats, in three Lok Sabha constituencies – Mahasamund, Rajnandgaon and Kanker – in the second round of polling in the state.
The polling was by and large peaceful barring a few incidents of firing by guerrillas in the interiors of Maoist-hit Rajnandgaon and three low-intensity blasts in Kanker in the jungle areas to scare away the electorates.
Chhattisgarh’s chief electoral officer Sunil Kujur informed that Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund recorded 64 percent, 62 percent and 61 percent polling respectively.
Voting was sluggish in urban and semi-urban areas while balloting began on a brisk note in vast rural areas.
The enthusiastic voters were seen in long queues at booths even before the poll process started. They braved rain as well as Maoist poll boycott diktat to exercise their franchise.
Chhattisgarh’s ruling BJP as well as the opposition Congress have claimed victory in the three seats and cited high voter turnout in their favours.
In the 2009 general election, the BJP comfortably won all the three seats.
Thursday’s polling has sealed the fate of 50 candidates including former chief minister and Congress veteran Ajit Jogi in Mahasamund and Chief Minister Raman Singh’s son Abhishek in Rajnandgaon.
Polling has thus far been held in four of Chhattisgarh’s 11 Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling in the remaining seven will be held on April 24.