Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India]: Chhattisgarh recorded 67.34 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm in the second phase of state Assembly polls on Friday, the Election Commission informed.
Ambikapur recorded a voter turnout of 65.05 percent whereas Bharatpur Sonhat recorded 67.94 percent. Bilaspur recorded 56.28. Till 5 pm, the maximum voter turn out has been recorded in the Kurud constituency with 82.60 percent, as per Election Commission.
The election body stated that that history has been created as for the first time, all the polling booths in the Raipur North Assembly Constituency in Chhattisgarh were staffed and managed completely by women polling personnel.
At 3 pm, voter turnout in Chhattisgarh was 55.31 per cent.
The second phase of polling in Chhattisgarh, to its 90-seat Assembly on November 17, began in 70 Assembly constituencies spread over 22 districts in the State.
The timing for polling is from 8 am to 5 pm except for nine polling booths in the Naxal-affected Bindranawagarh seat in Rajim district, where voting was held from 7 am to 3 pm.
A total of 958 candidates are in the fray across the 70 seats for which polling is being held currently.
Over 18,800 polling stations have been set up for the second phase of polling.
Congress and BJP are engaged in a fierce fight with both parties seeking to outdo each other in terms of poll promises.
‘Corruption’, price rise and the price of paddy have emerged as key issues in the polls, with the BJP targeting the Congress government led by Baghel on alleged scams and the ‘hawala money funding’ related to the Mahadev gaming app.
The BJP has targeted the Chief Minister over corruption allegations. It referred to Enforcement Directorate probe and alleged thatBaghel got Rs 508 crore from Mahadev betting app promoters.
The Congress rejected the allegations and accused BJP of using probe agencies to target its rivals.The caste factor is also at play in the state that has a large population of OBCs and tribals.Both parties have made efforts to woo nearly 38 lakh farmers in the state.
Scheduled Tribes comprise over 30 per cent of the state’s population.The BJP won three successive polls in the state till 2018 but lost badly in 2018.
The party is now seeking a return to power with the slogan that it created the state and will make it prosperous. Caste census, loan waiver, gas cylinder subsidy, unemployment, jobs and housing for the poor are among other issues being raised in the polls.
Congress has promised paddy procurement at Rs 3,200 per quintal (20 acre per quintal), including input subsidy being given under the Rajiv Gandhi Nyay Yojna. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which released its manifesto a day before the Congress, has promised ‘Krishi Unnati Scheme’ under which 21 quintals of paddy per acre will be procured at Rs 3,100.
Meanwhile, all the 230 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh will vote in a single phase.
The polls, coming nearly six months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, are crucial for both the BJP and Congress for various reasons. The counting of votes for the five states including Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram will be done on December 3.