Voting begins in Chhattisgarh polls, phase 2

Live-reporting-Raipur: Voting began this morning for the remaining 72 assembly seats of Chhattisgarh amidst heavy security

A total of 4,594 polling stations have been declared sensitive and 1,398 polling stations have been declared hyper-sensitive.

The fate of nine ministers of chief minister Dr Raman Singh’s cabinet will be decided today.

Prominent among them  is Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar contesting from Rampur ST seat.

State PWD and School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal  is contesting from Raipur South (facing Raipur Mayor Kiranmayee Nayak of Congress), Health Minister Amar Agrawal from Bilaspur (facing Bilaspur Mayor Vani Rao of Congress),  and Industry Minister Rajesh Moonat  is contesting from Raipur West.

Agriculture and Labour Minister Chandrashekhar Sahoo is contesting from Abhanpur, Panchayat and RD Minister Hemchand Yadav from Durg (facing Motilal Vora’s son Arun Vora), and Higher Education Minister Ramvichar Netam is contesting from Ramanujganj.

Food Minister Punnulal Mohle is trying his luck from Mungeli seat, while Revenue Minister Dayal Das Baghel is contesting from Nawagarh seat.

Among the star contestants are former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s wife Renu Jogi contesting from Konta, and his son Amit Jogi from Marwahi seat.

Former chief minister late Shyama Charan Shukla’s son Amitesh Shukla is contesting from Rajim, while late BJP leader Dilip Singh Judev’s son Yudhvir Singh Judev is contesting from Chandrapur.

Tribhuvaneshwar Singhdeo of the former Sarguja royal family is the richest contestant  in Chhatisgarh. He is the Congress candidate from Ambikapur with his assets at Rs 561 crore . Raja Surendra Bahadur Singh of Gondwana Ganatantra Party, contesting from Sakti has assets totalled Rs 46 crore.

More than 80,000 polling staff  divided into nearly 20,000 polling parties have been deployed to oversee the fate of a total of 843 candidates, including 75 women.

19 IPS officers have been posted as police observers, apart from 4,675 micro observers, 22 expenses observers alongwith 72 assistant expenses observers.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Maoist-affected Sarguja division which includes Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Gariaband, and Balod districts.