Chief Minister Raman Singh's hometown Kawardha will hold its cards close to the chest till the last moment as the counting of votes for the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections 2018 gets underway on Tuesday.
Singh, desperate and anxious to win a successive fourth term, started his political innings as councillor and legislator from Kawardha. Though the chief minister is not contesting from his hometown, the Kawardha Assembly constituency will have the most rounds of counting and will be the last to declare the result. Singh is contesting from Rajnandgaon, where Congress has pitted Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla against him.
Kawardha will have 30 rounds of counting, while the least rounds of counting (11) will be held in the Manendragarh constituency. While the first result will come from Manendragarh, Kawardha will keep the surprise going till the last moment, especially as Chhattisgarh is heading for a close contest.
The otherwise bi-polar political tussle in the state saw a triangular contest with Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) playing spoilsport to both BJP and Congress' electoral prospects. Both the parties are confident of an absolute majority. If JCC performs well and gets a comfortable vote share, Chhattisgarh may head for a hung Assembly.
According to state election officials, a thick security blanket has been thrown over the counting centres in all the state's 27 districts, particularly in Naxal-affected areas. Due to the threat from Left-wing extremism, polling was held in two phases in the state on November 12 and 20. The state recorded a voter turnout of around 76.60 per cent.
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