Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh recorded the highest-ever polling of around 75 per cent as elections were held on Tuesday in 72 constituencies in the second phase, which went off peacefully barring an incident in which one person was killed and two others injured, in firing by Central Reserve Police Force personnel following a scuffle.
While the second phase of polling today recorded 74.7 per cent polling, the first phase of elections in the Naxal-affected areas of Bastar in the state, in which 18 constituencies went to polls on November 11, witnessed 75.53 per cent.
The state recorded a voter turnout of 71.09 per cent in the 2008 assembly elections.
"It was a peaceful poll marked by a very impressive turnout. Barring one incident, polling was very peaceful in the second phase of elections in which 72 constituencies went to polls today...The voter turnout is the highest-ever so far," Deputy Election Commissioner R Balakrishnan told reporters in Delhi.
A man was killed and two others were injured in firing by CRPF personnel at Bhindarwani polling booth of Saja assembly constituency in Bemetara district today afternoon, following a scuffle with a group of people.
Polling was withheld for nearly half-an-hour after the incident and later it resumed, officials said.
According to state Director General of Police Ram Niwas, the incident took place when five people in an inebriated state reached Bhindarwani village and started arguing with a CRPF personnel, who was on duty at the polling booth.
There were conflicting versions on the firing, with one claiming it was accidental and another saying the CRPF man pulled the trigger in the heat of the moment.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and the CRPF man has been removed from duty, the DGP said.
"The injured were admitted to Durg hospital," he said, adding that the body of the deceased has been brought to Raipur for postmortem.
A total of 1.40 crore voters were to cast their votes to elect 72 candidates in which 843 candidates, including 75 women, were in the fray.
The Election Commission has seized cash and other items of Rs 8.69 crore and 38,780 litres of liquor valued at Rs 1.3 crore during the second phase of elections. A total of 22 paid news cases have also been detected and notices sent.
Apart from that, the son of late Pradesh Congress Chief chief Nandkumar Patel, Umesh Patel (Kharsiya) and Ajit Jogi's son Amit Jogi (Marwahi) are also in the fray in the second phase.
Security forces have been directed to stay alert in some districts of Sarguja division and Raipur division,
located on inter-state border, where frequent Maoist movements had been witnessed.
According to police, Maoists may create some trouble in Mahasamund, Gariyaband and Dhamtari of Raipur division bordering Odisha and Jashpur, Raigarh and Ambikapur in north Chhattisgarh during polling process.
Of the total number of candidates, 71,39,631 are men, 68,30,179 women and 5,660 are service voters, while of the total 72 seats, 17 are reserved for scheduled tribes and nine are reserved for scheduled castes.
A total of 18,015 polling booths have been set up for the second phase, of which 4,594 are sensitive booths, while 1,398 are hyper-sensitive stations.
As many as 20,957 ballot units and 18,015 control unit will be used in this phase.
In 11 constituencies like Kota, Lormi, Takhatpur, Beltara, Chandrapur, Kasdol, Raipur City South, Durg City, Bhilai Nagar, Vaishali Nagar and Bemetara, more than one ballot unit will be used.
Security forces have been directed to stay alert in some districts of Sarguja division and Raipur division, located at the inter-state border, where frequent Maoist movements had been witnessed, ahead of the second phase of polls.
Three ballot units will be placed only in Raipur City South and 3,000 cameras will be used for monitoring during the polling process, he said.
Nearly 80,000 officials have been involved in conducting the poll today.
A record 75.53 per cent voting was registered during the first phase of polling held on November 11 for November 18 constituencies of Maoist-affected Bastar division and Rajnandgaon district.
Counting will take place on December 8.