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Chhattisgarh poll officials hopeful of high voter turnout

November 18, 2013 11:16 IST

Encouraged by their initiatives which resulted in high voter turnout in Naxal-hit areas, officers in Chhattisgarh's Chief Electoral Office are hopeful of a similar trend in 72 constituencies going to polls on Tuesday.

A Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation, which was started about three months back, is bringing results in most of the poll-bound areas.

"Nodal officers have been appointed under SVEEP programme in every district. They really worked hard to make voters aware about their rights and importance of voting. It has got good results in the first phase of polls (held on November 11) mainly in Naxal areas.

"I am hopeful of large voter turn out in tomorrow's polls as well," Deputy CEO Alex Paul Menon told PTI when asked about the initiative.

Menon, who was held hostage by Maoists last year for 12 days, was also pivotal in ensuring security in Naxal-hit Bastar region for polls held on November 11.

"Efforts under the guidance of Chief Electoral officer  have given good results. It was a team work which brought voters out of their homes to vote," said the officer on phone from Raipur.

Menon, a 2006 batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre,  was abducted on April 21, 2012 by Maoists in Majhipara  village in Sukma. He was released after 12 days.

Menon said the CEO office, in coordination with other  officers, was conducting the SVEEP programme in a unique and innovative way.

The CEO office and district administration were putting  large billboards along roads and giving advertisements on televisions and newspapers in rural and urban areas to make voters aware and encourage them to vote.

Wall paintings and messages on 'kuccha' houses, encouraging people to vote, can be seen in Ambikapur and in  adjoining areas going to polls on Tuesday.

As many as 72 constituencies, including Naxal-affected  Ambikapur, will go to polls on Tuesday.

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