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     Raipur, January 28, 2010: Amid sporadic violence, about 70 per cent of the voters today exercised their franchise in the first phase of the Panchayat elections of Chhattisgarh.

     About 70 per cent votes were registered today to decide the fate of 84,691 candidates for 29,139 panchayat posts in the first phase of the election, officials said today.

     Elections were held today in 49 blocks spread over 17 districts of Chhattisgarh, which was by and large peaceful, they said.

    However, poll related violence were reported from some districts, including Kawardha and Bastar region, the officials said.

     In Dantewada, there were reports of Maoists taking hostage of some of the polling parties and details are awaited, reports reaching here said.

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