Raipur: Chhattisgarh recorded an overall turnout of 76.35 per cent in the two-phased Assembly elections that concluded Tuesday, 1.05 per cent lower than the voting recorded in 2013, with Kurud in Dhamtari district recording the highest voter turnout at 88.99 per cent.
The final figures, released by the Election Commission Wednesday, showed that the polling percentage in the two phases varied by 0.04 per cent. In the first phase, voter turnout was 76.39 per cent while in second phase it was 76.35 per cent.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, the state witnessed a voter turnout of 75.93 per cent in the first phase and 77.42 in the second phase. The overall voter turnout five years ago was recorded at 77.40 per cent, which is higher than the voter turnout in 2018 Assembly polls by over 1.05 per cent. This time around, the overall figure stands at 76.35 per cent.
The highest voter turnout in the current elections was recorded in Dhamtari district’s Khurd assembly constituency at 88.99 per cent, while Raipur City North constituency recorded the lowest voter turnout at 60.30 per cent.
While the second phase covered 72 constituencies in 19 districts on Tuesday, the first phase was held November 12 in 18 constituencies across eight Maoist-affected districts which recorded 76.39 per cent voting.
The state, carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, for the first time witnessed a three-way contest with the ruling BJP fighting it out with the opposition Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance emerging as a formidable third front.
A total of 1,079 candidates were in the fray, with both the Congress and the BJP contesting all the 72 seats.
The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting for 25 seats and its ally and former Chief Minister Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) for 46 seats.
An electorate of over 1.5 crore, including over 77 lakh male and over 76 lakh female voters, were eligible to vote.
Among the prominent Congress leaders in the fray for the second phase were Baghel (Patan), Leader of Opposition in the Assembly T.S. Singh Deo (Ambikapur) and former Union Minister Charandas Mahant (Shakti).
For the BJP, the list included state Ministers Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur City South), Rajesh Munat (Raipur City West), Amar Agrawal (Bilaspur), and Prem Prakash Pandey (Bhilai Nagar).
For the alliance, Jogi contested from Marwahi, his wife Renu Jogi from Kota, and his daughter-in-law Richa Jogi, a BSP nominee, from the Akaltara seat.
Extra security was put in place in Maoist-affected Gariaband, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kabirdham, Jashpur and Balrampur districts.
The results will be declared December 11.