Chhattisgarh polls: Naxal-hit Bastar goes to polls on 7 Nov amidst high security
Of the 20 seats which will go to polls tomorrow, 7 November, Congress won 17 in the 2018 assembly polls
A day before assembly elections in five states — Mizoram votes on Tuesday, 7 November, along with Chhattisgarh, in its first phase for 20 seats — get underway, security has been strengthened in the Naxal-hit Bastar division of Chhattisgarh.
Local media reported that a three-tier security cordon for more than 600 polling stations in sensitive areas has been put in place.
About 60,000 security personnel, comprising 40,000 personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and 20,000 from the state police, have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the polls in these areas.
The security team will also include members of the elite anti-Naxal unit CoBRA and women commandos.
Watchers say this time, it is a close contest between the Congress and the BJP as both parties are trying to win the support of tribal voters. While the Congress is banking on its legacy of welfare schemes and support for tribal rights, the BJP is focusing on good governance and development.
In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress won 68 of the 90 assembly seats, while the BJP finished a distant second with 15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), founded by the late former chief minister Ajit Jogi, bagged five seats and its ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won in two segments.
The Congress further consolidated its hold in the state with victory in by-polls held for five assembly seats after 2018, and its tally currently stands at 71.