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Chhattisgarh polls NOTA: 3.15 per cent of total votes cast

Chhattisgarh polls NOTA: 3.15 per cent of total votes cast

Raipur: It was Chhattisgarh that polled perhaps the largest number of 'none of the above' (NOTA) votes to reject all candidates in recently concluded Assembly elections.

Interestingly, the concentration of NOTA votes was in the naxal-affected Bastar region where the ruling BJP suffered a setback at the hands of Congress. The region contributed substantially in BJP's victories in 2003 and 2008.

In total, around 401058 votes were polled under NOTA, which comprised 3.15 per cent of total valid votes cast in all 90 constituencies.

Chitrakot-ST seat witnessed highest votes in NOTA at 10,848 votes, followed by 9677 in Dantewada-ST, Keshkal (8381) and Bijapur (7179).

Some other constituencies of Bastar which witnessed considerable NOTA votes are Narayanpur (6731), Kondagaon (6773), Konta (4001) and Bastar (5529), according to the data furnished by the state election commission.

Incumbent sports minister Lata Usendi lost from Kondagaon seat to Congress' Mohan Markam by a margin of 5135 votes.

According to an Intelligence Bureau (IB) official, Maoists may have persuaded voters to exercise NOTA option in Bastar region.

However, ADG (Naxal Operations) RK Vij denied of any inputs of Maoists directing people in tribal areas to opt for NOTA.

Before the elections, there were reports that naxals were trying to scare away people from electoral process.However, voters turned out in large numbers due to unprecedented security arrangements in place.

A significant 75 % voting was recorded in first phase of polling covering 18 seats of south Chhattisgarh even after a boycott call by naxals.

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