RAIPUR (Chhattisgarh) — Eighteen assembly segments affected by Maoist insurgency in south Chhattisgarh are witnessing polling today amidst heavy security and Maoists' appeal for a boycott.
According to police officials, over 1,00,000 security personnel have been deployed in Bastar region and Rajnandgoan district of the state for today's first phase of the election.
Total 190 candidates, including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, are in the fray for these 18 seats.
The timing of the election in 10 out of 18 assembly segments has been altered to 7 am to 3 pm from the usual 7 am to 5 pm.
"Nine hundred forty-two polling officials have been sent to sensitive polling centers by helicopters. Overall 19,070 polling officials will be conducting the election at 4,336 polling centers on Monday," Chhattisgarh's Chief Election Officer Subrat Sahu said in a press statement.
The Congress party candidate from Kondagoan assembly segment Mohan Markam alleged that he was attacked on Sunday by the supporters of BJP leader Lata Usendi.
The Congress's general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia alleged that government machinery is being misused to plan massive rigging in all remote booths of Bastar.
"Murder Democracy. Senior bureaucrats leak information of massive planned rigging of all remote booths in Bastar through govt machinery," he tweeted on Sunday evening.
But Sahu has reiterated that the election commission is committed to conducting a free and fair election.