Security personnel have been put on high alert ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi, to the poll bound Chhattisgarh state for election campaigning.
Security has been heightened across the state, particularly in the Maoist-affected Bastar region, ahead of the visit by these VIPs, Director General of Police Ramniwas told PTI here on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit is scheduled on November 9 in Raipur, while UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi are set to visit the Maoist-affected Bastar region on November 7, even as Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is set to visit Maoist-hit Kanker on November 8.
Modi is scheduled to address two public meetings in Bastar-Jagdalpur (12.40 pm) and at Kanker (2.35 pm), besides one at Rajnandgaon (Dongargarh at 4.15 pm), while Sonia Gandhi, would address the public at Kondagaon (Bastar).
Amidst reports that Maoists may attack leaders in the Bastar region, security forces have been told to keep a hawk's eye on every suspicious movement, the DGP said.
Altogether 985 candidates are in the poll fray for the forthcoming two-phased assembly polls in the state.
Eighteen Maoist-affected constituencies in the eight districts of Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Sukma, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Kanker and Rajnandgaon will go to polls in the first phase, while the rest of the 72 constituencies will go to polls during the second phase on November 19.
Chhattisgarh has a total of 1,67,97,368 voters and 21,418 polling booths have been set up to elect a 90-member state assembly.
Taking a serious note of the Maoist threat, the Centre has sent an additional 400 companies (40,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling.