Around 39.53 per cent polling was recorded till noon in the byelection to Chitrakot Assembly seat in Chhattisgah on Monday, an official said.
Six candidates are in fray from the Naxal-affected seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, where the byelection was necessitated after Congress MLA Deepak Baij got elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar parliamentary constituency.
"Polling began at 8 am and in the first four hours, around 39.53 per cent voter turnout was recorded," the
official said, adding that voting will end at 5 pm.
Voting was going peacefully and long queues of women voters were witnessed in several polling booths, he said.
The BJP candidate from the seat, Lachhuram Kashyap, cast his vote at Kodebeda booth, while the Congress candidate, Rajman Benzam, voted at Irpa polling station.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Janata Congress (J) state president Amit Jogi posted a video on his Twitter handle,
accusing a presiding officer at Matnar polling booth of directing people to vote in favour of the ruling Congress.
In the purported video, a man is seen telling something to a voter while he is standing at the EVM (electronic voting machine) compartment to cast his vote.
Jogi accused the ruling party of misusing the government machinery to influence the bypoll.
However, Congress MP Deepak Baij accused the same presiding officer of acting in favour of the BJP. A total of 229 polling booths have been set up for the bypoll -213 in Bastar district and 16 in the neighbouring
Sukma district, he said.
As many as 916 polling personnel have been deployed at these booths, he said, adding that around 70 booths have been categorised as 'hyper-sensitive' and 93 as 'sensitive'.
Around 8,000 personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed while drones are also being used to keep an eye on the Chitrakot Assembly segment, which is part of the insurgency-hit Bastar region, a police official said.