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Naxals steal EVMs in Chhattisgarh

November 14, 2008 09:42 IST
Last Updated: November 14, 2008 12:21 IST

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Polling began in 12 assembly constituency in the Bastar division of Chhattisgarh. The first-phase polling began at 0700 hrs in the Naxal-infested areas of the state, which is one of the six states going to the polls this winter. 

Polling is on for 39 assembly seats in ten districts--Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Durg, Kabirdham, Rajnandgaon, Kanker (North Bastar), Bastar (Jagdalpur), Narayanpur, South Bastar (Dantewada) and Bijapur.

Polling for 27 assembly seats will begin at 0800 hrs. Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is contesting from Rajnandgaon and Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Mahendra Karma is pitted against Manish Kunjam of the Communist Party of India from the Naxal-dominated Dantewada constituency.

Karma, known for being at the forefront of the Salwa Judum movement, has won the seat three times--two times consecutively on Congress ticket in 1998, in undivided Madhya Padesh, and in 2003 in the first assembly elections of Chhattisgarh state and once on a CPI ticket in 1980.

Recently a case was registered against Karma for giving money to a tribal woman during his election campaign.

Around 10-15 per cent of polling have been reported during the first two hours of voting in the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh, deputy chief election officer Diwan said.
Speaker Premprakash Pandey cast his vote in Bhilai assembly constituency, While, minister Hemchand Yadav, Congress leader Motilal Vora and his son Arun cast their franchise in Durg.
Meanwhile, two Electronic Voting Machines in Jagdalpur constituency and one in Dantewada were looted by Naxalites [Images], inspector general of police, Bastar region, A N Upadhyay said.

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