Chhattisgarh Assembly Election: Over 1,200 Candidates Step Up for Phase-2 Polls in 70 Constituencies
Chhattisgarh Assembly Election: Over 1,200 Candidates Step Up for Phase-2 Polls in 70 Constituencies

Raipur: The electoral landscape in Chhattisgarh is abuzz with activity as a staggering 1,219 aspirants have submitted their candidatures for the upcoming second phase of the state's assembly elections, set to unfold on November 17. As the deadline for nomination submissions drew to a close on Monday, the stage is set for a fiercely contested electoral showdown.

This phase of the elections covers a total of 70 constituencies, with the first phase already scheduled to take place on November 7, encompassing 20 assembly seats.

The State's Chief Electoral Officer's office issued a statement revealing that the second phase attracted a remarkable 1,219 candidates who filed a combined total of 1,985 nomination papers. These documents will undergo rigorous scrutiny on Tuesday. Candidates will have until November 2 to withdraw their nominations.

Prominent political figures from both the Congress and the BJP have thrown their hats into the ring for this significant phase. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Deputy Chief Minister TS Singh Deo, along with eight of their cabinet colleagues, and the State Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant, are among the key contenders representing the Congress.

Meanwhile, the BJP is fielding its State Chief, Arun Sao, Assembly Leader of the Opposition Narayan Chandel, former ministers and incumbent MLAs Brijmohan Agarwal, Punnulal Mohile, and Ajay Chandrakar, along with three current Lok Sabha members, including a Union Minister.

One of the most closely watched contests will take place in the Patan constituency, where CM Bhupesh Baghel of the Congress will face off against his nephew and BJP candidate Vijay Baghel, who is the sitting Lok Sabha member from Durg. The entry of Amit Jogi, the President of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and son of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, into the Patan race has added an intriguing dimension to the electoral landscape.

In the high-profile Ambikapur constituency, Deputy CM Singh Deo is set to go head-to-head with the BJP's Rajesh Agrawal. In the Raipur South constituency, the Congress has nominated Dudhadhari Math's Mahant Ram Sundar Das, who will challenge the BJP stalwart Brijmohan Agrawal.

The second phase of voting will cover 70 constituencies across 22 districts in the state. In the earlier first phase, 223 candidates are vying for the 20 seats in contention.

Among the 70 seats in the second phase, 17 are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, while nine are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates. In the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress secured 51 out of these 70 seats, while the BJP claimed 13, the JCC (J) secured 4, and the Bahujan Samaj Party secured 2 seats. A subsequent by-election saw the Congress adding one more seat to their tally.

The 2018 polls saw the Congress achieving a resounding victory, winning a total of 68 seats and comfortably forming the government. In contrast, the BJP was reduced to just 15 seats, while the JCC (J) and the BSP secured 5 and 2 seats, respectively. As things currently stand, the Congress holds 71 seats in the state, setting the stage for another fiercely contested election.

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