Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018: Voting in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls for 18 constituencies spread across eight Maoist-affected districts ended on Monday, with nearly 70 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise.
Polling in 10 constituencies -- Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon -- started at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.
Voting at Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot, where polling started an hour later, ended at 5 p.m.
The poll panel said the turnout stood at nearly 70 per cent.
An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated early morning in Dantewada district by Naxals, who had called for a boycott of the polls, police said. The Maoists have triggered several attacks in the past few days, killing several people, including a BSF trooper on Sunday.
Pundits are referring to today's election as Round-1 of the 'semi-final' to the general elections next year.
In the first phase of the polls, 190 candidates were in the fray and as per electoral rolls, there were 3,180,014 voters.
Among the prominent candidates in the first phase were Chief Minister Raman Singh, ministers Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur) and Mahesh Gagda (Bijpaur) and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Kanker Lok Sabha seat MP Vikram Usendi (Antagarh).
Nine sitting Congress MLAs -- Manoj Singh Mandavi (Bhanupratappur), Mohan Lal Markam (Kondagaon), Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar), Deepak Kumar Baij (Chitrakot), Devati Karma (Dantewada), Kawasi Lakhma (Konta), Girwar Janghel (Khairagarh), Santram Netam (Keshkal) and Daleshwar Sahu (Dongargaon) -- were also in the fray. Of the 18 seats going to polling in the first phase, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) while one is for Scheduled Caste (SC) category.
The second phase of polling in 72 seats, out of the 90-member Assembly, would be held on November 20 and counting of votes would take place on December 11.