Chhattisgarh polls: First list of Congress candidates to be out on 15 Oct

Assembly polls will be held in two phases on 7 and 17 November, while votes will be counted on 3 December

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel (Photo: NH File Photo
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel (Photo: NH File Photo


The Congress' first list of candidates for the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls will be released on Sunday, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said.

Assembly polls will be held in two phases on 7 and 17 November, while votes will be counted on 3 December.

"Tomorrow the first list of candidates of our party will be released. Another list for the second phase will be released later," he told reporters on Saturday.

Queried on the party's strategy against former CM and senior Bhartiya Janata Party leader Raman Singh, who is contesting from Rajnandgaon, Baghel said the strategy as well as the name of the candidate pitted against Singh will be known when the party's list is out.

Of the 20 seats going to polls in the first phase, the Congress has 19 (17 won during the 2018 polls and two later in bypolls). In the 2018 polls, Singh won the Rajnandgaon seat, defeating Karuna Shukla by a margin of 16,933 votes.

Asked if the BJP was planning to take advantage of the presence of parties like the Ajit Jogi-founded Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and some other smaller outfits, Baghel said, "You have to understand the chronology. On the one hand, Amit Jogi (of Ajit Jogi's party) files a case in court, on the other, he gets security.

"The alliance between the JCC (J) and Bahujan Samaj Party has ended. The BSP has entered into a coalition with Gondwana Gantantra Party. BSP is sitting in the lap of the BJP. The Aam Aadmi Party is also the B team (of the BJP) here. It is trying to damage the Congress," he claimed.

Incidentally, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is an ally of the Congress in the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

Baghel, however, said the people of Chhatisgarh were intelligent and were closely watching such moves.

Taking a dig at Raman Singh, the CM said, "It is not the BJP which is contesting but Singh and his team. Raman Singh's role is visible in ticket distribution. People are aware and they will not fall into the trap of those who looted the state for 15 years." Singh was chief minister of the state from 2003 to 2018. 

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