Chhattisgarh's last phase of LS polls sees fierce contests in 7 constituencies

In the third phase, 168 candidates vie for victory as over 13.9 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots

Chhattisgarh: Voters are being welcomed at the polling booth with songs and music, showcasing their beautiful tribal culture.
Chhattisgarh: Voters are being welcomed at the polling booth with songs and music, showcasing their beautiful tribal culture.


Polling began Tuesday morning, 7 May for seven of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh, in the third and last phase of general elections in the state.

Voting began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm, an official said.

Polling is being held in Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Korba, Janjgir-Champa (Scheduled Caste reserved), Surguja (Scheduled Tribe reserved) and Raigarh (ST) seats in the third phase.

There is heightened security in place with the deployment of 202 companies of Central forces and more than 60,000 personnel of police force and District Reserve Guard, the official said.

Altogether 168 candidates are in the fray in the third phase, the official said.

In the 2019 polls, the BJP bagged nine constituencies and Congress got two seats.

A total of 1,39,01,285 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the third phase. In the high-profile Raipur seat, state minister and BJP leader Brijmohan Agrawal is facing off against former MLA Vikas Upadhyay of Congress.

In Korba seat, the BJP has fielded its influential woman leader and former MP Saroj Pandey against Congress' sitting MP Jyotsana Mahant, wife of the incumbent leader of the opposition Charandas Mahant.

A total of 168 candidates, including 26 women, are in the fray. The eligible voters include 69,33,121 men, 69,67,544 women and 620 members of the third gender.

At 38, Raipur has the maximum number of contestants, followed by 37 in Bilaspur, 27 in Korba, 25 in Durg, 18 in Janjgir-Champa, 13 in Raigarh, and 10 in Surguja.

Of the 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, Naxal-affected Bastar (ST) seat voted on April 19, and Rajanandgaon, Kanker (ST) and Mahasamund voted in the second phase on April 26.

Bastar seat recorded a turnout of 68,29 per cent, Rajnandgaon 77.42 per cent, Mahasamund 75.02 per cent and Mahasamund 76,23 per cent.

The Congress has fielded a fresh face in Rajendra Sahu from Durg against sitting BJP MP Vijay Baghel.

Bilaspur constituency is seeing a battle between incumbent MLA Devendra Yadav of Congress and former MLA Tokhan Sahu of BJP.

In Janjgir-Champa, the lone seat reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates, former state minister Shivkumar Dahariya of Congress is pitted against BJP nominee Kamlesh Jangde.

Surguja seat is seeing a contest between BJP's Chintamani Maharaj, who defected from the Congress before the last assembly polls, and Congress' Shashi Singh, a fresh face.

BJP's Radheshyam Rathiya and Congress' Dr Menka Devi Singh, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Sarangarh, will square off against each other in the tribal-dominated Raigarh seat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J P Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed rallies for the party candidates, while for the Congress, party president Mallikarjun Kharge, and senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra led the campaigning.

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Published: 07 May 2024, 8:50 AM