Chhattisgarh polls: People in 126 villages of Bastar division vote in newly setup polling stations

Chhattisgarh polls: People in 126 villages of Bastar division vote in newly setup polling stations

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) People of 126 villages in the Naxalite-hit Bastar division of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday cast vote in polling stations which were set up there for the first time since Independence, the Election Commission said.

The poll panel described the 126 new polling stations in the left wing extremism-affected areas as 'triumph of ballot over bullet' with a functionary recalling the recent remarks of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar that participation of everyone from every region in democratic process will be ensured and sufficient security forces will be deployed to ensure the security during the elections.

Amid an encounter with Naxalites in the Chintagufa police station area of Sukma district in which four security personnel were injured, the poll panel described the first phase of assembly polls in the state as 'free, fair and largely peaceful'.

According to the EC, the new polling stations removed the hardships faced by voters in these villages as they no longer had to endure long treks through dense forests, hills, rivers and braving the threats posed by LWE to exercise their franchise.

The new polling stations were consistent with EC's norms which aim to ensure that no voter has to move beyond a radius of 2 km to vote.

Of these 126 booths, 15 were located in Kanker, 12 in Antagarh, 20 in Konta, 14 in Chitrakot, five in Bhanupratapur, four in Jagdalpur, one in Bastar, 13 in Kondagaon, 19 in Keshkal, nine in Narayanpur, eight in Dantewada and six in Bijapur assembly constituencies.

Polling station number 97 in village Matavand, Narayanpur has 459 voters.

In state's Kanker, a 'Rainbow Model Polling Station' was set up in Pakhanjur area which is inhabited by the highest number of voters in the third gender category, the EC said.

The polling station had security personnel also belonging to the third gender, instilling confidence and eliminating stigma regarding third gender voters, it said. PTI NAB NAB KVK KVK

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