Defying threats by Maoists, 70 per cent of the electorate turned out to vote on Monday in 18 constituencies in the first phase of Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh amid violence and allegations of EVM rigging. Minutes before polling began, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated in Dantewada district by Naxals, who had called for a boycott of the polls. Security personnel also recovered IEDs near a polling station in Bijapur and in Sukma district. In the run-up to the elections, the state has registered an increase in the number of Maoist attacks. The rebels have mounted three attacks in the past two weeks, leading to the deaths of eight security personnel and five civilians. Amid the polling for the first phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarted the campaign for the second phase by addressing an election rally in Bilaspur. Attacking the Congress for its dynastic politics, Modi said that the grand old party’s “politics begins and ends with one family”.