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Chhattisgarh Election 2018

Chhattisgarh polls: 12.5 percent voter turnout till 10 am

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Chhattisgarh

Raipur | Voting for the second and final phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls began on a slow note on Tuesday with 12.54 percent of the electorate exercising their franchise in the first two hours, an official said. A total of 1,079 candidates, including 119 women, are contesting in 72 constituencies of the state with an electorate of 1,54,00,596.

This is the last of the two-phase polls to the 90-member assembly in Chhattisgarh where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been in power for the last 15 years. “Voting began at 8 am and around 12.54 percent voter turnout was recorded till 10 am,” an election official said.

There were reports of technical snags in electronic voting machines (EVMs) at some places and corrective measures were taken, he said. Two state ministers -Rajesh Munat and Premprakash Pandey – and BJP’s national general secretary Saroj Pandey voted in their respective areas.

The time of polling is from 8 am to 5 pm, but in two polling booths – Amamora (booth no. 72) and Modh (no.76) in Bindranavgarh constituency (Gariaband) – voting is being held from 7 am to 3 pm due to threat posed by Naxals, the official said. Around 1.50 lakh security personnel have been deployed across the state to ensure peaceful polling, he said.

In the second phase, districts like Gariaband, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kabirdham, Jashpur and Balrampur are Naxal-affected areas and extra vigil is being maintained there, the official said. The maximum number of 46 candidates are in Raipur City South constituency and the least number of six candidates are in the Bindranavagarh seat.

Of the 72 seats, 17 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and nine for Scheduled Castes. A total of 19,336 polling booths have been set up for the second phase, of which 444 are sensitive booths.

The first phase of polls in 18 seats of eight Naxal- hit districts on November 12 had recorded over 76 percent voter turnout. The counting of votes will be held on December 11.

Chhattisgarh Election 2018

People have given befitting reply to ‘corrupt’ BJP: Baghel

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Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur | With the Congress poised to wrest power from the BJP in Chhattisgarh after 15 years, the party’s state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said people have given a befitting reply to the ruling party, which indulged in corruption during its 15 years of rule.

He credited strong party organisation for the impressive showing and said he was not expecting such a big margin of victory.

“Congress had been standing with each and every section of the state. Therefore, it has received their immense support in the election,” Baghel told PTI.

“BJP has only cheated the people of the state during its three-term rule. It was neck-deep in corruption and ‘commissionkhori’. People have given them a befitting reply,” he added.

The Congress was leading in 64 seats, well above the magic figure of 46, while the ruling BJP was a distant second at 18 in the 90-member assembly, according to the Election Commission website.

“We were not expecting such a big blessing from the people. We were expecting around 60 seats,” Baghel said.

“The result is the outcome of the unity of my party leaders and efforts of booth-level workers…The party is heading to a historic victory and credit for it goes to AICC president Rahul Gandhi, he added.

Gandhi addressed around 19 public meetings as part of the poll campaign.

The Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee chief, who is seen as one of the contenders for the chief minister’s post along with T S Singhdeo, said it was for the high command to decide who would be chief minister.

“The high command will take a decision on this. The responsibility that was given to me, I have fulfilled that,” he said.

“We strengthened the Congress organisation at the basic level under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and through that we fought the battle for the common man,” Baghel added.

According to him, the Congress raised issues related to farmers, labourers, tribals, students, women and youth. “It fought for the rights of every section of the society,” he said.

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Chhattisgarh Election 2018

Happy that BJP is losing in Chhattisgarh: Ajit Jogi

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Ajit Jogi

Raipur | With trends indicating a win for the Congress in Chhattisgarh, former chief minister Ajit Jogi said on Tuesday that he was “happy” with the “results” and that people chose the party because they found it the most viable alternative to the BJP.

The Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) president told reporters that the people of the state wanted to oust the Raman Singh-led government, which has been in office for 15 years.

Jogi, who was in the Congress before he floated his own party, said the assembly results would help his party emerge as a third front in the state. “I am happy with the results as the BJP is losing,” he said.

Trends showed that the Congress was leading in more than 55 seats in the 90-member state assembly, with the BJP falling way behind with leads in 25 seats.

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Chhattisgarh Election 2018

Chhattisgarh polls: Congress ahead in 16 seats, BJP in 4

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Congress

Raipur | The Congress was leading in 16 seats, and the ruling BJP in four constituencies in Chhattisgarh, poll officials said Tuesday. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) of former chief minister Ajit Jogi was ahead in two seats in Bilaspur division, they said.

Counting for all the 90 seats started at 8 am at the district headquarters.

The counting of postal ballots was taken up first followed by counting of votes from Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), an election official said.

The Congress was leading in Ramanujganj, Samari, Ambikapur, Katghora, Pali-Tanakhar, Beltara, Saraipali, Basna, Bilaigarh, Baloda bazar, Raipur Rural, Raipur Nagar Uttar, Sanjari balod, Durg rural, Kavardha and Narayanpur seats.

The BJP is ahead in Vaishalinagar, Pamgarh, Bilaspur and Rampur seats.

Ajit Jogi was leading in Marwahi seat, while his wife Renu Jogi was ahead in Kota constituency, he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking a fourth straight term in office under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, while the Congress is aiming to stage a comeback after being in the opposition for 15 years.

The state had recorded 76.60 per cent voter turnout.

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