Raipur: Polling in eight constituencies began at 8 a.m. on Monday and it was underway in 10 others in the first phase to elect a new Chhattisgarh Assembly, officials said.
Amid tight security, voting for 10 of the 18 seats began at 7 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m. Polling in the remaining eight seats will continue till 5 p.m.
The 10 seats where early voting started are Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon.
Polling stations opened an hour later in Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot.
All the 18 constituencies are known as Maoist hubs.
Over 31 lakh voters, including over 15 lakh males and in excess of 16 lakh females, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 4,336 polling booths.
A total of 190 candidates are in the fray including BJP veteran and Chief Minister Raman Singh, who is being challenged by Karuna Shukla, a former BJP leader and a niece of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who joined the Congress in 2014.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled Chhattisgarh for the past 15 years.