Chhattisgarh Assembly election phase 2 LIVE updates: At 2.30 pm, over 50% voting was in Lundra, Ambikapur, Bilaigarh, Kasdol and Balodabazar. Lundra saw a polling percentage of 62%, Ambikapur 55%, the EC reported. Meanwhile, parties continued to spar over faulty EVMs with the Congress blaming the BJP for tampering of the voting machines.
Chhattisgarh Assembly election phase 2 LATEST updates: At 2.30 pm, over 50% voting was in Lundra, Ambikapur, Bilaigarh, Kasdol and Balodabazar. Lundra saw a polling percentage of 62%, Ambikapur 55%, the EC reported. Meanwhile, parties continued to spar over faulty EVMs with the Congress blaming the BJP for tampering of the voting machines.
The villagers of Chatrang, Pal Kevra and Ghuidih have boycotted the elections due to no development work done by the government in their villages. According to the villagers, the decision to boycott the elections was taken by the Panchayat and it was decided that a fine of Rs 1 lakh will be imposed if any person from these three villages is found participating in the voting process. Officials at the Baikunthpur polling booth have confirmed zero voting at these villages.
Congress candidate from Ambikapur and Leader of Opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, TS Singh Deo while speaking to the media said that he was confident of Congress' win in the state as the farmers were supporting the party. When asked about Congress' claims of EVM tampering, Deo said that it not uncommon now for one to hear of such incidents as around 20-25 machines are malfunctioning in one constituency and this was a clear case of misconduct.
At 12 pm, 25.2% voter turnout was recorded in phase 2 of the Chhattisgarh Assembly election, sources said. EC spokesperson tweeted the voter turnout for various constituencies in the second phase of Chhattisgarh elections. The overall percentage stood at 23.71%.
In Raipur's Boriakala, around 1,100 names of voters are missing from the voter list. Booth No. 243 has 99 names missing while at booth no. 244 has 1,061 names are missing. The officials are saying that their votes have been shifted to other booths but the voters are unaware of those booths.
The Congress had raised a ‘faulty Electronic Voting Machines’ claim in the Chhattisgarh polls, saying that faulty EVMs are being deployed in the party's stronghold areas. Congress leader PL Punia is having a meeting with the Election Commission to discuss the tampering claims.
The Durg district reported the highest turnout of 14.2% at 10.00 am. Meanwhile, BJP senior leader and minister Amar Agrawal violated the code of conduct in Raipur as he went to cast his vote with a lotus flower in his pocket.
12.54% voting had been recorded till 10 am in the second phase of voting in the Chattisgarh Assembly elections, ANI reported.
Multiple instances of EVM malfunctioning have been reported from Dhamtari, Jashpur and Raipur constituencies. In the Sihawa constituency of Dhamtari the EVM stopped working and no voter has been able to cast vote since morning. The administration is busy in repairing the faulty EVMs. Whereas, in Jashpur voting hasn’t yet started in many areas due to faulty EVMs. In Raipur's Mowa, voting stopped working after voting had started and only around 30 votes could casted till then. Voters were very agitated as even in Raipur West, faulty EVMs halted the polling process.
Voters have boycotted the elections in Bhatgaon constituency over zero development and not even a single vote has been cast here till now. Officials are trying to convince the people to come out and vote. Whereas, in Jashpur where the Pathhalgadi movement took place. enthusiastic voters came out to vote in huge numbers early morning.
The Kota seat is likely to witness a three-cornered contest among incumbent MLA Renu Jogi (JCC-J), Vibhor Singh of Congress and Kashi Sahu (BJP). Meanwhile, in the Akaltara seat, Ajit Jogi's daughter-in-law Richa Jogi who is contesting on a BSP ticket is likely to give a tough fight to Saurabh Singh of BJP and incumbent MLA Chunnilal Sahu of Congress.
Former chief minister Ajit Jogi, who once used to be the face of the Congress in the state, broke away to form the JCC in 2016. He has forged a pre-poll alliance with the BSP and CPI, hoping to be the kingmaker on 11 December. The difference between the promises of Congress and JCC, said Jogi, is that he has sworn to deliver on a 100-rupee stamp paper. "If I go back on my assurances, anyone can file a complaint, and I could be jailed for two years," he told Firstpost . "Has the Congress done it [provided such assurances]?"
Jogi, however, went on to say his main target in the elections is the BJP. "Narendra Modi has done nothing for the farmers," he said, "For the first time, Chhattisgarh farmers are committing suicide. They never took this step earlier, not even under British rule. It means the farmers do not have faith in the government."
Polling was halted in Balrampur's Mahaveerganj, Deviganj, and Bhanaura polling booths after the EVM machines installed there stopped working. Anti-Naxal Special DIG DM Awasthi said that "paramilitary forces have been deployed in six. districts where voting is scheduled for Tuesday. Besides this STF, DRG, and Cobra battalion have also been deployed.”
In Koreya, voting did not start in the Urumduga polling booting of the Baikunthpur Vidhan Sabha due to EVM glitches. Voting also stopped in a polling centre in the Bharatpur Sonhat Vidhan Sabha after the EVM stopped working. In Raipur, voting on booth number 126, 127 was halted because of EVM malfunctioning.
BJP candidate Siddhnath Paikra was detained by the police late Monday night after Rs 2 lakh in cash was found from his car. He is contesting from the Samri Vidhan Sabha in Balrampur district. Whereas Bhupesh Baghel, the Chhattisgarh Congress president sat on dharna on Monday after Congress in charge Chhattisgarh, PL Punia was forced to leave the state by the election commission.
Six out of 19 districts where polling is scheduled on Tuesday are Naxal-affected. Conducting peaceful polling in Gariaband, Baled, Balrampur, Dhamtari, Kabiradham, and Mahasamund will be a challenge for security forces. Meanwhile, the Bilaspur division which has 24 Assembly seats could hold the key to deciding the winner in the state.
A three-way contest is in the offing as Chhattisgarh goes for the second and concluding phase of the Assembly polls on Tuesday for 72 seats spread across 19 districts. The ruling BJP wrestling it out with the Opposition Congress, and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-CPI alliance has emerged as a formidable third front in Chhattisgarh.
A total of 1,079 candidates are in the fray, and both Congress and BJP are contesting all the 72 seats. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is in the fray for 25 seats and its ally and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) is vying in 46 seats. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded candidates in 66 constituencies.
Carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, the state where the BJP is in power since 2003, is witnessing a three-way poll battle for the first time.
Voting has begun for the second phase of Chhattisgarh elections. 101 Reporters
Jogi, who ruled Chhattisgarh for the first three years as a Congress chief minister, later floated his own outfit and aligned with the BSP and the CPI, is perceived to impact the poll battle where the vote share difference between the BJP and the Congress was less than 1 percent in 2013.
In 2013, the BJP, with 41.04 percent vote share, had own 49 seat, while the Congress won 38 seats with a vote share of 40.29 percent in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.
Among the prominent faces in fray in the last phase are state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel (Patan), Leader of Opposition in the Assembly TS Singh Deo (Ambikapur) and former Union minister Charandas Mahant (Shakti).
For the BJP, the list includes state ministers Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur City South), Rajesh Munat (Raipur City West), Amar Agrawal (Bilaspur), Prem Prakash Pandey (Bhilai Nagar), Dayaldas Baghel (Nawagarh) and state party president Dharamlal Kaushik (Bilha).
For the alliance, Jogi is in the fray from Marwahi, his wife Renu Jogi is contesting from Kota, and his daughter-in-law Richa Jogi is a BSP nominee from the Akaltara seat.
The high-decibel poll campaign, which ended on Sunday, saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Raman Singh and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath raising the pitch for the party in Chhattisgarh.
For the Congress, which looking to unseat the BJP, party chief Rahul Gandhi led from the front, targeting Modi and the Raman Singh government over corruption and agrarian distress.
Besides flaying Modi for demonetisation, Rahul also dared the prime minister to speak up over the Rafale deal, which the Congress claimed is India's "biggest defence scam".
The BJP's campaign in Chhattisgarh centered around attacking the Congress over dynasty politics, with the Nehru-Gandhi family being the focal point of both Modi and Shah's attacks.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the second phase where an electorate of over 1.5 crore is eligible to exercise its franchise.
The first phase of election in 18 constituencies across eight Naxal-affected districts of the state took place on 12 November and saw 76.28 percent voting despite the rebels threatening people to stay away from the poll process.
The results will be declared on 11 December.