New Delhi, November 20: Polling for the second and final phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections began a short while ago. Seventy-two constituencies spread over 19 districts are going to polls in this phase. Voting, which began at 8 am, will end at 5 pm.
More than nineteen thousand three hundred polling stations have been set up. As many as one thousand seventy nine candidates, including one hundred and nineteen women, are in the fray. Over one crore fifty four lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The Election Commission has made all arrangements to ensure free and fair polls. About 600 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed. Flying squads are keeping a close watch on illegal consignment of liquor, cash and other items meant to influence the polls.
The Election Commission has also set up 118 ‘Sangwari’ polling booths in various constituencies to encourage women to cast their votes. These women-friendly booths will be operated by all-female staff. Each polling centre will also have a Voter Selfie Zone to encourage young voters to exercise their franchise.
Also, Voting for the second phase of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir is being held today.
Forty blocks - 17 in Jammu region, 12 in Kashmir and 11 in Ladakh region - are going to polls in this phase. Polling started at 8 this morning and it will conclude at 2 PM. Counting of votes will be taken up immediately after the polling ends.
One thousand thirty-eight candidates are in the fray for 468 Sarpanch Halqas and 4,165 candidates for 3610 Panch wards in this phase. The polls are being conducted on a non-party basis. Adequate security measures have been put in place and forces deployed in strength to ensure smooth and peaceful polling.
Around 74 per cent voting was recorded in the first phase on Saturday. The Panchayat elections are being held in nine phases. Last Panchayat polls in the state took place in 2011.