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Despite Looming Maoist Threat, Voters Turnout in Sizeable Numbers For Dantewada Assembly Bypolls in Chhattisgarh

The constituency reported a voter turnout of 21% at 11 am. Several of the voters walked on foot for several kilometres, crossing forests and rivers to exercise their franchise.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:September 23, 2019, 2:09 PM IST
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Despite Looming Maoist Threat, Voters Turnout in Sizeable Numbers For Dantewada Assembly Bypolls in Chhattisgarh
Representative image.

Dantewada: Voters turned out in sizeable numbers to cast their votes in Dantewada bypoll in Chattisgarh on Monday., despite facing threats from Maoist forces.

In an incident reported from Kettakalyan area, an IED was recovered 200 metres from the Palcheri polling booth by security forces. Confirming the incident, SP Abhishek Pallav said that no loss was reported as the bomb disposal squad managed to reach the site and diffuse the explosive device in time.

In another incident, presiding officer Chandra Prakash Thakur died after falling ill while discharging his duty in the same polling booth in Palcheri on Monday morning. Meanwhile, voters were seen lining up in large numbers to cast their vote in poll booths across the assembly constituency.

However, voter turnout was low in eight out of the ten booths location in Maoist-hit areas.  The constituency reported a voter turnout of 21% at 11 am. Several of the voters walked on foot for several kilometres, crossing forests and rivers to exercise their franchise. Both the Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates who are victims of violence perpetrated by the Maoists.

Congress' Devti Karma is the wife of late party leader Mahendra Karma, who was killed in a Maoist attack that took place in Jheerum in 2013.  BJP had fielded Ojasvi Mandavi, the wife of former BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi who was killed in a Maoist attack ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

There are a total of 1.88 people in the assembly constituency, who are eligible to exercise across the 273 polling booths. Out of 273 booths, five are pink booths. The Congress has reached out to voters with the achievements of its government while BJP has urged voters to back Mandavi by referring to endeavours of her husband.

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