Business Standard

Chhattisgarh election: 2nd phase polling to be held on 72 seats tomorrow

Eyeing a fourth consecutive term, the BJP has set a target of winning 65 plus seats in the 90-member Assembly

Press Trust of India  |  Raipur 

Women wait to cast votes during re-polling at a booth | Photo: PTI

All arrangements have been made for the second and final phase of the Assembly elections to be held n 72 seats of 19 districts on Tuesday amid tight security, with the deployment of over 100,000 police personnel.

The fate of nine ministers, assembly and some other prominent leaders of the ruling as well as of the will be decide in the polls.

In the first phase, polling was held in 18 seats of eight Naxal-affected districts on November 12.

Eyeing a fourth consecutive term, the BJP has set a target of winning 65 plus seats in the 90-member Assembly, while the is seeking to end its 15-year exile from power in the tribal-dominated state.

The coalition between the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), former Ajit Jogi's (J) and the (CPI) has added a twist to the poll battle.

Polling will be held from 8 am to 5 pm in these seats of central and north where as many as 1,079 candidates, including 72 each from the BJP and the Congress, are in fray, an said.

For the second phase of polls, there are 1,53,85,983 voters, including 77,46,628 men, 76,38,415 women and 940 of the third gender.

As many as 19,296 polling booths have been set up for the second phase, the said.

The highest number of 46 contestants are in the South constituency, while the lowest number of six contestants are in the Bindranavagarh seat.

Over one lakh security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling, a police said.

Extra vigil is being maintained in Naxal-affected Gariaband, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kabirdham, Jashpur and Balrampur districts, he said.

has been retained from the Kasdol seat, which he had won against Congress's Rajkamal Singhaniya in the 2013 elections.

The Congress has this time fielded a fresh face, Shankutala Sahu, from the seat.

The BJP has this time fielded nine ministers (South), (West), Amar Agrawal (Bilaspur), (Baikunthpur), (Pratappur), (Mungeli), (Bhilai Nagar), (Nawagarh) and Ajay Chandrakar (Kurud), and also (Bilha).

Congress (Patan), of Opposition T S Singhdeo (Ambikapur), from Durg Lok Sabha seat Tamradhwaj Sahu (Durg rural), and former Union (Shakti) are among the key opposition party candidates in the fray.

A three-way fight is expected in several seats of Bilaspur division where Ajit Jogi's party and the BSP have a considerable presence.

Jogi is contesting from the Marwahi segment where the BJP and the Congress have fielded new faces Archana Porte and Gulab Singh, respectively.

The Kota seat is also likely to witness a three-cornered contest among incumbent MLA (JCC-J), Vibhor Singh (Congress) and Kashi Sahu (BJP).

In the Akaltara seat, Ajit Jogi's (BSP) is likely to give a tough fight to Saurabh Singh (BJP) and incumbent MLA Chunnilal Sahu (Congress).

Of the 72 seats, 46 are for the general category, while nine are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 17 for Scheduled Tribes candidates.

Of these seats, the BJP had won 43 seats in the 2013 polls while the Congress had bagged 27. One seat each was won by the BSP and an

During the poll campaign, Narendra Modi, and other senior saffron party leaders targeted Congress chief and his family and accused the opposition party of misleading people during its 50-year rule in the country.

The BJP also recalled the development works and achievements of its 15-year rule in the state.

The Congress, however, raised farmers' issues during the poll campaign and promised them loan waiver, bonus on paddy procurement and setting up food processing unit if it wins the election.

It accused the of remaining "silent" on the "corruption charges" against in the alleged Rs 36,000-crore civil supply scam and not acting against the chief minister's son in the Panama Papers case.

The and his son had earlier denied the allegations against them.

The first phase of polls in 18 seats of eight Naxal-hit districts had recorded over 76 per cent voter turnout.

The counting of votes will be held on December 11.

First Published: Mon, November 19 2018. 14:25 IST