Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018: The second and final phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections began Tuesday for 72 of the 90 seats in the state amid tight security arrangements. With as many as 1,079 candidates in the fray, over 1.54 crore voters, including 77.53 lakh male, 76.46 lakh female and 877 transgender, will cast their votes today. While polling began at 7 am in two of the 19,336 booths, the rest are following the usual time of 8 am to 5 pm. To ensure peaceful polling, over one lakh security personnel have been deployed and extra vigil is being maintained in Naxal-affected districts of Gariaband, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kabirdham, Jashpur and Balrampur.
The ruling BJP holds 43 of the 72 seats, with the party sweeping several areas in the Chhattisgarh plains in the 2013 elections. The Congress is confident of consolidating its position and overturning deficits in the plains with farmer anger against the BJP.
There is a third element for the first time in a bipolar state, after Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh and the Communist Party of India (CPI) joined hands to contest the polls.
In the first phase on November 12, 18 seats in Bastar and Rajnandgaon districts voted. Results for all the 90 seats will be declared on December 11, along with four other states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana.