Chhattisgarh: 42.57% turnout recorded till 1 pm in Bastar LS seat; CRPF officer hurt in IED blast

NewsDrum Desk
Updated On
New Update
Voters show their identification cards as they wait in queues at a polling station to cast their votes for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Bastar district, Friday, April 19, 2024

Voters show their identification cards as they wait in queues at a polling station to cast their votes for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Bastar district, Friday, April 19, 2024

Raipur/Jagdalpur: A voter turnout of more than 42 per cent was recorded till 1 pm on Friday in the Naxal-hit Bastar Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh, which saw a CRPF officer getting injured in an explosion of a pressure IED planted by Naxalites, officials said.


"Amid tight security, polling in the Bastar seat started at 7 am and is underway smoothly. At least 42.57 per cent polling was registered till 1 pm," an election official said.

An assistant commandant of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was injured when a pressure improvised explosive device (IED), planted by Naxalites, exploded in Bhairamgarh police station area of Bijapur district, police said.

The incident occurred near Chihka polling booth under Bhairamgarh police station limits when a team of security personnel was out on an area domination operation in the area in view of polling.


During the exercise, Manu HC, assistant commandant belonging to CRPF's 62nd battalion, came in contact with the pressure IED triggering the blast that left him injured on his left leg and hand, he said.

In another incident, a CRPF jawan deployed on poll security duty was injured when a shell of an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) accidentally exploded in Bijapur district.

In a post on 'X', Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said, "Received sad news that a soldier engaged in the security of a polling station suffered injuries in UBGL shell blast in Bijapur amid the ongoing voting in Bastar Lok Sabha. Instructions have been given to ensure proper treatment for the injured. His condition stated to be out of danger. I wish for his speedy recovery".


Long queues of voters were witnessed at several polling stations in Dantewada, Bijapur and Bastar districts. Elderly voters, some in wheelchairs, also arrived at the polling booths to cast their vote.


Among the initial voters were Congress candidate Kawasi Lakhma, who cast his vote at the Nagaras polling booth (Sukma), BJP's Mahesh Kashyap in Kalcha (Bastar), state BJP chief Kiran Deo in Shanti Nagar (Jagdalpur- Bastar) and state Forest Minister Kedar Kashyap in Farsaguda (Bastar).

Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P and Commissioner of Bastar Division (Revenue) Shyam Dhawade cast their votes in Haatkachora polling booth in Bastar district.

Sundarraj said that in this battle of "Ballot versus Bullet", ultimately the ballot would emerge successful, meaningful and powerful.


"Despite repeated boycott and threat calls by Maoists, there is lot of enthusiasm and commitment among the people of Bastar, who are turning out in huge numbers to the polling stations," he said.

The IG appealed to the voters of Bastar to come out to polling stations and exercise their franchise in order to strengthen the democratic values.

Defying a call for a poll boycott by Naxalites in a remote village Chandameta in Bastar district, villagers were seen queuing up to cast their votes in the polling booth there.


The Balud polling booth in Dantewada district sported the theme of environment conservation, with officials giving away saplings to voters to create awareness about conservation.

At least 60,000 state and paramilitary personnel have been deployed across the constituency to ensure peaceful polling.

Polling in booths of Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Chitrakot, Dantewada, Bijapur and Konta assembly constituencies in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat is being held from 7 am to 3 pm.

In the Bastar assembly constituency, polling is being held from 7 am to 5 pm, while in Jagdalpur, 175 booths are seeing voting from 7 am to 5 pm, and in 72 booths, it is being held from 7 am to 3 pm, she said.

Altogether 14,72,207 voters, including 7,71,679 women, 7,00,476 men and 52 transgenders, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the seat with 11 candidates in the fray, the official said.

As many as 1,961 polling booths have been set up in the constituency, of which 61 were categorised as vulnerable and 196 as critical.

The straight fight is between the Congress's firebrand leader Kawasi Lakhma and BJP's Mahesh Kashyap, a fresh face, in Bastar, which the saffron party lost in 2019.