Raipur: As many as 167 polling stations in the sensitive areas of Naxal-affected Bastar region, which will have polling in the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, have been relocated for "security and accessibility" reasons.
"A total of 167 polling booths of Bastar region were shifted due to security and accessibility reasons," Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur told reporters this evening.
Eighteen Naxal-affected constituencies the districts of Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon will have polling on November 11.
The CEO further said that most of the polling stations have been moved around 40 kms away from earlier locations and brought nearer to places such as weekly markets, police stations, schools, etc, where people frequently visit.
This was done from the security point of view and for making the booths more approachable, he said.
The state government had earlier recommended to election commission to relocate over 250 polling booths in the Naxal-infested areas, fearing attacks by the ultras.
The Centre has sent additional 400 companies (40,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling.
Around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troopers are already deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the state.