RAIPUR: The voting began peacefully amid thick security cover in the Maoist-affected Dantewada assembly constituency on Monday at 7 am.
The people were seen turning up enthusiastically in most of the polling booths, said an election official here. The Assembly segment has 273 polling stations.
The polling will go on till 3 pm to enable the election staff to accomplish their work and return before sunset. Over 18000 personnel have been deployed to ensure fair, peaceful and credible polling.
There are nine candidates in the fray and the counting of votes will be held on September 27.
Both the national parties — ruling Congress and Opposition BJP are apparently harping on sympathy votes (their candidates have been victims of Maoist violence) in the predominantly tribal segment of Dantewada seat, where the women voters outnumbered men.
There are 98876 female voters out of the 188263 electorates who are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The by-polls in Dantewada seat was necessitated following the death of a sitting BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi.
Barely two days before the first phase of polling in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency this year, he was killed along with four police personnel in a powerful IED blast triggered by the Maoists at Dantewada on April 9.
Dantewada is among the worst Maoist-affected districts in the conflict zone of Bastar, south Chhattisgarh.