Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018:The polling for the Chhattisgarh assembly elections 2018, first phase, has ended. The voters of 18 constituencies exercised their voting right today. According to the reports, around 70% voter turnout has been recorded in the first phase of polling today. The state’s Election Commission officer Umesh Sinha, in a presser, said that voting, for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections 2018, has ended, and voter turnout is around 70%. He added that the official figures will be updated later.

As per reports, thousands of security personnel were deployed in the Maoist-hit regions in order to ensure that the elections take place peacefully. While the first phase of polling for 10 out of 18 seats was conducted from 7 am to 3 pm. The voters of the rest 8 constituencies of Bastar and Rajnandgaon exercised their polling right from 8 am and to 5 pm. Chhattisgarh has 90 constituencies in total. The remaining 72 constituencies will go to polls on November 20. The results of the same will be declared along with the results of Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan on December 11. the security personnel also include central paramilitary force which has been deployed in Maoist-affected regions to ensure that elections take place peacefully.

The security has been tightened in the state after there were several warnings by the Maoists of boycotting the elections. Out of the 18 seats, where polling is underway, 10 are held by the BJP while 8 are under Congress. During the campaigning period, the Congress made several promises including the farm loan waiver and also a complete ban on liquor if voted to power. While Congres is eyeing to come back to power, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, along with his party is leaving no-stone-unturned in order to claim the throne for the fourth consecutive time. The 66-year-old three-time Chief Minister is contesting from Rajnandgaon constituency.

As per reports, the BJP is likely to face a jolt as Raman Singh is being challenged by BJP-turned-Congress leader Karuna Shukla, a niece of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Karuna had been the member of the ruling party for over 30 years and had quit the party in 2013 after it had accused BJP of mental torture.

Here are the highlights of Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018.

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18:31 (IST)

Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018

The state Election Commission officer Umesh Sinha told media that around 70% polling has been recorded in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018.

18:22 (IST)

Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018

Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018: Polling for all 18 seats in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 concluded at 6PM today.

16:06 (IST)

47.18% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm

According to reports, 47.18% voter turnout was recorded till 3 pm, while 25.15% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.

13:07 (IST)

While the authorities and the government left no-stone-unturned in tightening the security, an encounter broke out between security forces and Maoists in Bijapur Pamed area today at around 12:20 pm. As per current reports, two Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) jawan faced severe injuries in the encounter.

12:36 (IST)

Voters in Jagdalpur's Gandhi Nagar ward are reportedly protesting outside the polling centre. talking to media, several voters claimed that the names of many voters are missing from the list. A local added that names of several voters are missing including those who have been living in the state from past 25 years.

11:52 (IST)

Mortal remains of BSF Sub-Inspector Mahender Singh who lost his life in an IED blast in Chhattisgarh's Kanker yesterday, brought to his residence in Dumariya village. As per reports, 16.24% voter turnout has been recorded till now in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls 2018. The voter turnout has reported increased by 6.24% in one hour.

11:50 (IST)

Reports suggest that a large number of voters were seen at the polling station in Maoist-affected Manpur's Pardoni village in Rajnandgaon. Previously, several Maoists had put out banners and posters threatening the locals to boycott the Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections.

10:39 (IST)

As per the recent data released by the Election Commission, Chhattisgarh has seen 10.7 voter turnout at 10 am in the first phase of elections. Despite threats issued by the Maoists, several locals stepped out their houses to cast their vote. Apart from a 100-year-old lady, a differently-abled person reached Chintagupha polling booth to cast his vote.

10:36 (IST)

The security forces have detected an IED near a polling booth in Konta's banda in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. Later, the forces and authorities jointly ensured smooth polling after reportedly putting up a makeshift polling booth under a tree. The following reports surface after Maoists had exploded a 2 kg IED in the morning before the elections.

09:57 (IST)

Talking about the ongoing first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Polls, the Election Commission has said that 53 polling stations out of the total of 4336 reported delayed start of polling due to technical reasons, however, 100% polling stations have reported smooth polling with long queues.

09:37 (IST)

PM Modi leaves for Chhattisgarh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Chhattisgarh where he is expected to address a public rally in Bilaspur. PM Modi will later visit Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi where he will be inaugurating several development projects including multi-modal terminal on River Ganga. In the first phase of Chhattisgarh elections, 18 constituencies are witnessing polling. As per reports, the voter turnout is said to be average.

08:49 (IST)

Voting for Chhattisgarh Assembly elections that was earlier stopped in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari has now been resumed. The voting at the Pink polling booth in Kamla College was brought to a halt after it was found that one of the EVMs were facing technical problems. During previous elections, the opposition has raised voices over the use of EVMs.

08:43 (IST)

Voting for Chhattisgarh Assembly elections stopped in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari

As per current reports, the voting at the Pink polling booth in Kamla College, in Rajnandgaon's Sangwari has been stopped. The voting that is taking place via EVM came to a sudden halt after it was reported that the voting machines were facing some technical problems.

08:31 (IST)

Around 900 polling personnel have been air-dropped from helicopters

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Monday said that in order to ensure smooth polling, around 900 polling personnel have been air-dropped from helicopters and over 6,500 polling personnel were sent by road. talking the two-phase elections, OP Rawat said that the polls were being held in two phases so that special security can be provided to 18 constituencies. He further added that these 18 constituencies were kept in the first phase so that the paramilitary forces remain fresh.

08:26 (IST)

While campaigning for the Chhattisgarh polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had accused CM Raman Singh and his son of corruption. Hitting back the charges levelled by Congress chief, Chief Minister Singh said that Rahul Gandhi is like an entertainment for the people living ion Chhattisgarh. Raman Singh has been the chief minister of the state from past three terms.

08:16 (IST)

The continuous warnings and attacks by the Maoists don't seem to have affected the locals much as a 100-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh's Sukma reached a polling station in Dornapal to cast her vote in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.

08:15 (IST)

Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018 LIVE updates

While the voting for 18 seats is underway, the Maoists reportedly blasted 2 kilograms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near Chhattisgarh's Tumakpal camp in Katekalyan block. It is said to be another attempt by the Maoists to stop the elections. Commenting on the IED blast, Devnath, AIG (Anti-Maoists Ops) said that the blast was triggered by Maoists on Tumakpal-Nayanar road at around 5:30 am to target security forces. He added that there were no harms to security forces and polling party.