Voters across Naxal-infested parts of Chhattisgarh defied a boycott call by CPI (Maoist) to record 67% turnout till 6 pm for the first phase of the poll in the state.
According to the Election Commission, the figure was this is only tentative figure as officials were still returning to base camps. The final turnout is likely to hit 70%, surpassing the 66% turnout recorded in 2008 assembly polls.
The 12 constituencies across south Chhattisgarh, comprising the Bastar region, made the difference to the turnout.
In what is being seen as a major victory for the counter-Naxal forces, which had thrown a thick security blanket over the 18 assembly constituencies across eight districts in Bastar in south Chhattisgarh and Rajnandgaon and Kanker in north Chhattisgarh, minimal violence was recorded.