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Campaigning for Chitrakot assembly seat in Chhattisgarh ends

Press Trust of India  |  Raipur 

Campaigning for bypoll to Chitrakot assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh ended on Saturday evening.

Voting will be held on October 21.

"The campaigning concluded at 5 pm," a poll official said here.

The byelection to this naxal-affected constituency, reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), was necessitated after Congress MLA Deepak Baij was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar parliamentary constituency.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel led the Congress' campaign, while his predecessor and the BJP's national vice president Raman Singh and Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik campaigned for the saffron party.

The Congress highlighted several pro-farmers and pro-tribal measures taken after it came to power last year, including farm loan waiver, minimum support price of Rs 2500 for paddy and returning of unused land acquired for Tata steel project to farmers in Bastar district.

The BJP alleged that no new development work was undertaken in the last 10 months by the Congress government.

Six candidates are in the fray for the bypoll.

The Congress has fielded a new face, Rajman Benzam, a local tribal leader and president of the Bastar District Congress (Rural), while the BJP has given ticket to Lachhuram Kashyap, a former MLA.

Others in the fray are Bomda Mandavi of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), Hidmo Ram Mandavi of the Communist Party of India, Lakheshwar Kawasi of Ambedkarite Party of India and independent Ritika Karma.

In the 2018 assembly election, Lachhuram Kahyap of BJP was defeated by Congress's Deepak Baij by 17,770 votes.

As many as 1,67,722 voters will be able to exercise franchise in the constituency.

A total of 229 polling booths have been set up -- 213 in Bastar district and 16 in neighbouring Sukma district.

The polling time is from 8 am till 5 pm.

Counting of votes will be held on October 24.

Around 8,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed for the election, a senior police official said.

Patrolling has been intensified and drones are being used to keep an eye on movement of naxals around sensitive polling booths, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 19 2019. 17:30 IST