ANI Photo | Chhattisgarh Assembly Polls: PM Modi urges people to participate in festival of democracy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters to cast their vote and become participants in the festival of Democracy as the voting for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections, involving 20 seats in the state’s southern region, began on Tuesday.
“Today is the day of the sacred festival of Democracy in Chhattisgarh. I request all the voters of the first phase of assembly elections to cast their votes and become participants in this festival. On this occasion, my special congratulations to all the young friends of the state who will cast their vote for the first time!” PM Modi posted on X (Formerly Twitter).
The voting process began at 7 am amid tight security.
Polling started at 7 am for ten seats, which include Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur and Konta.
The polling for the remaining assembly constituencies, which include Pandaria, Kawardha, Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur, and Chitrakote, will commence at 8 am and continue until 5 p.m.
The state of Chhattisgarh is undergoing elections in two phases, with the second phase scheduled for November 17.
20 constituencies in Chhattisgarh, which has a 90-member house, are set for the polls on Tuesday, including 12 from the Bastar division.
There are a total of 223 candidates in the fray for 20 seats. 5304 voting booths have been set up by the election commission for this phase. There are 40 lakh, 78 thousand, and 681 voters in this phase. Of these, there are 19 lakh, 93 thousand, 937 male voters and 20 lakh, 84 thousand, 675 female voters.
In this phase 13 of the 20 seats are reserved for SC/STs. Overall, in the state, 29 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and 10 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs).
Voting is being held in constituencies that are Naxal-affected and fall in districts like Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker, Kabeerdham, and Rajnandgaon.
In the first phase of voting in the state, 13 candidates are contesting in the Antagarh assembly constituency, while 14 are in race for the Bhanupratappur, 9 in Kanker, 10 in Keshkal, 8 in Kondagaon, 9 in Narayanpur, 8 in Bastar, 11 in Jagdalpur, 7 in Chitrakote, 7 in Dantewada, 8 in Bijapur, 8 in Konta, 11 in Khairagarh, 10 in Dongargarh, 29 in Rajnandgaon, 12 in Dongargaon, 10 in Khujji, 9 in Mohla-Manpur, 16 in Kawardha and 14 in Pandariya.
Notable figures such as former Chief Minister Raman Singh is seeking re-election from his seat in Rajnandgaon, and State Minister Kawasi Lakhma, who is running again from Konta, where he the sitting MLA.
In 2018, the Congress won 17 of the 20 seats that will go to the polls in Phase 1. BJP had won two seats, while Ajit Jogi’s party had won one.
In 2023, the Congress replaced six of the sitting MLAs in this phase, while in the seat of Bahnupratappur, the wife of late MLA Manoj Mandavi, Savita Mandavi, will be contesting.
As per the data from the Election Commission of India, in the election to the 90-member assembly, a total of 2,03,80,079 crore voters, including 19,839 service voters, will be able to exercise their franchise.
There are also 790 gender voters in the state and 1,60,955 persons with disabilities voters, as per the data shared by the poll body.
Chhattisgarh has 2,63,829 electors in the age group of 18-19.
There are 1,86,215 senior citizens above the age of 80 in the state.
The poll panel said there are 24109 polling stations in the state as compared to 23,667 in 2018.
To conduct free and fair elections in the state, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed to augment the local police force in the state.
According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Chhattisgarh, a total of 223 candidates in the 20 assembly constituencies of the first phase, of which 198 are men and 25 are women, will contest the polls on Tuesday.
The Commission has also directed that, to the extent possible, at least one polling station, each managed exclusively by women and persons with disabilities, shall be set up in every Assembly constituency in the state.
The counting of votes is scheduled for December 3

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