The second and final phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections began at 8am on Tuesday amid a war-like security cover, particularly in the Naxal-hit regions of Sarguja and Raipur division.
Over 100,000 security personnel have been deployed across the state, 3,000 surveillance cameras installed at polling booths and 80,000 Election Commission officials roped in to ensure smooth voting.
Police have been ordered to stay on alert in some areas of Sarguja and Raipur division, Mahasamund, Gariyaband and Dhamtari.
It may be recalled that authorities recovered 15-20 IEDs (Improvised explosive device) from Sukma, Kanker, Dantewada and Narayanpur on the eve of the first phase polls after an explosion left two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans injured.
The second phase voting turnout in the 72 constituencies spreading across 16 districts was low in the initial hours. An official at the Chief Electoral Office told PTI that 15 percent turnout was recorded till 11 am.
A total number of 843 candidates, including nine ministers are in the fray for 72 seats in the second phase of the polls. The results will decide the fate of some prominent leaders like Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar (Rampur seat), School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur city south), Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam (Ramanujganj), Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Hemchand Yadav (Durg city), Housing and Environment Minister Rajesh Munat (Raipur city west), state President of BJP Ramsewak Paikra (Pratappur) and Leader of opposition Ravindra Choubey (Saja).
The voting for the first phase of 90-member Assembly, consisting of 18 constituencies, was held on 11 November. It clocked a record 75.53 percent voting turnout, despite security threats in the Naxal-affected Bastar division and Rajnandgaon district.