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Chhattisgarh: 29.90 per cent turnout recorded in seven Lok Sabha seats till 11 am

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NewsDrum Desk
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Raipur, May 7 (PTI) A voter turnout of 29.90 per cent was recorded in the first four hours of polling in seven of the 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Chhattisgarh where polling was underway in the third and last phase of the general elections in the state on Tuesday, a poll official said.

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Polling is being held in Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Korba, Janjgir-Champa (reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates), Surguja (reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates) and Raigarh (ST) seats.

"Polling in the seven Lok Sabha constituencies started at 7 am, and a voter turnout of 29.90 per cent has been registered till 11 am. Polling is underway smoothly and peacefully," the official said.

Long queues of voters were seen at polling booths in some seats.

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Chhattisgarh's Deputy Chief Minister Arun Sao, who exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Bilaspur, was among the early voters.

Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and his wife cast their votes in Civil Lines Raipur.

Talking to reporters, the governor appealed to voters to exercise their franchise to elect the government of their choice.

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"Voting right is the most valuable right of a citizen, and my appeal to all people is that they must vote to elect the government of their choice. Nobody should refrain from coming to the polling booth and voting," he said.

State Minister OP Choudhary cast his vote in Raigarh district, while Congress candidate from Surguja seat Shashi Singh inked his finger at Shivpur village in Surajpur district.

State Chief Secretary Amitabh Jain and his wife cast their votes in Devndra Nagar officers colony here, the state's Chief Electoral Officer Reena Babasaheb Kangale voted at the Dharampura polling booth, and Additional Chief Electoral Officer Nilesh Kshirsagar at Amlidih polling booth in Raipur.

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Residents of Dhumadand village in Koriya under the Korba Lok Sabha seat have boycotted the elections, citing the lack of a road.

According to officials, security has been beefed up in the state with the deployment of 202 companies of the Central forces and more than 60,000 personnel of the police and District Reserve Guard.

Altogether, 168 candidates, including 26 women, are in the fray in the third and final phase of elections in the state.

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The main contest is between the BJP, which won 10 out of the total 11 seats in the three general elections after 2004, and the Congress.

In the 2019 polls, the BJP bagged nine seats, and the Congress got two seats.

A total of 1,39,01,285 persons, including 69,33,121 men, 69,67,544 women and 620 members of the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the third phase.

Raipur has the maximum number of 38 candidates in the fray, followed by 37 in Bilaspur, 27 in Korba, 25 in Durg, 18 in Janjgir-Champa, 13 in Raigarh, and 10 in Surguja.

There are 15,701 polling booths in the seven constituencies, of which 25 have been categorised as vulnerable and 1,072 as critical, the official said. PTI TKP ARU

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