Raipur: Voting began today amid tight security in three Naxal-hit Lok Sabha constituencies of Chhattisgarh, where Chief Minister Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh, former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and former minister Vikram Usendi are in the fray.
Polling commenced in three Lok Sabha seats - Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund - at 7 AM, an election official here said.
There are 50 candidates in fray for the second phase election in these constituencies, including five women. Their fate will be decided by 45,56,051 voters, of which 22,78,646 are men and 22,77,405 women.
Maximum number of candidates are fielded in Mahasamund (27), followed by Rajnandgaon (13) and Kanker (10). A total of 6,114 polling booths, including 2,452 regarded as critical, have been set up for the three constituencies Rajnandgaon (2,211) Mahasamund (1,937) and Kanker (1,781) - where 29,347 employees have been deployed.
The electors can vote in seven Assembly seats of Naxal-affected Kanker constituency - Sihawa, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker and Keshkal - till 3 PM while Daundilohara Assembly seat of the region will witness polling upto to 4 PM.
Besides, the polling in Sanjari-Balod and Gunderdehi seats of Kanker region will be held till 6 PM.
In Rajnandgaon, the polling time in Pandariya, Kawardha, Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Dongargaon and Khujji Assembly seats is from 7 am to 6 pm while the lone Maoist-hit seat Mohla-Manpur will see polling till 3 PM.
In Mahasamund, voters can exercise their franchise in Bindranawagarh Assembly seat till 3 PM while rest of the region's Vidhan Sabha seats will have polling till 6 PM.
As many as 56 web cameras and 1,258 digital/video cameras have been installed at polling stations to monitor the polling process, the election official said. From Rajnandgaon seat, BJP has fielded Chief Minister Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh while Congress has fielded Janpad member Kamleshwar Verma, who belongs to Lodhi community.
Mahasamund seat will see close contest between former Chief Minister and Congress nominee Ajit Jogi and BJP's sitting MP Chandulal Sahu.
From Kanker seat, BJP denied ticket to its sitting MP Sohan Potai and fielded sitting MLA and former minister Vikram Usendi, while Phoolo Devi Netam is the Congress nominee from the seat.