"About 69 per cent electorates exercised their franchise in first phase of polling for 51 urban bodies, including 10 municipal corporations, 19 municipal councils and 22 nagar panchayats," State Election Commissioner P C Dalei said.
Polling was held between 7 AM to 3 PM in insurgency-hit Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur nagar palikas and two nagar panchayats of Pakhanjur and Antagarh in Kanker district and between 8 AM to 5 PM in remaining areas, he said.
Highest turnout was recorded in Dhamtari district (84percent) followed by Mungeli (80percent) and Rajnandgaon (79percent) while naxal-affected Bijapur witnessed lowest turnout of 55percent.
However, prominent districts like Raipur, Bilaspur and Durg recorded average voting at 58percent, 66percent and Durg 62percent, respectively.
Dalei said polling was by and large peaceful barring minor scuffles between workers of BJP and Congress at a few places in Bastar, Bilaspur and Durg.
He said EVMs were replaced during the electoral process at some polling booths of Bastar and Dhamtari and at few other places due to fault in these machines, but voting was not affected.
He said polling parties have started returning to their fold.
Fate of 5,130 candidates, including 101 for Mayoral posts, 86 for presidents of municipal councils and 105 for presidents of nagar panchayats is locked in EVMs.
A total of 3,336 polling stations were set up in the first phase, out of which 1,445 polling booths were identified as "sensitive" and 199 as "hyper sensitive".
The second and final phase of urban body polls is scheduled to be held on December 31 for 103 civic bodies. Counting of votes for both phases will be held on January 4.

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