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Chhattisgarh to witness bipolar battle

2 weeks ago 9


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All along the Lok Sabha polls held in the last 20 years (after Chhattisgarh came into existence), the Congress has never won from any reserved seat except the Bastar in 2019 polls. Except this, the BJP always emerged victorious in the four reserved tribal constituencies of Bastar, Kanker, Sarguja, Raigarh and a reserved Scheduled Caste of Janjgir-Champa.

An analysis of the previous Lok Sabha poll results showed the national issues did carry an impact on the choice of the voters in the state. This year, the BJP seems confident of garnering support on the planks of ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’, Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, alleged corruption and scam during Congress. Among other issues, the party is also banking on achievements like Citizenship Amendment Act, revocation of Article 370 (special status to J&K) to give a major boost to its political fortune.

On the other hand, the Congress is strongly relying on its five ‘Nyay’ guarantees focussing on farmers, women, youths, labourers, though the party faces an apparent uphill battle to counter the allegations of corruption.

In the 2023 Assembly polls, the BJP returned to power in the state bagging 46.27% vote share (4% less than what it got in 2019 Lok Sabha polls), while the Congress 42.23%. The BJP now aspires to increase its vote share by minimum of 10 percent from the 2023 elections.

Though the Congress continues to trust its vote bank, it is equally watchful about the BJP’s coordinated efforts to “decimate” the opposition.

As per analysts, the BJP hopes to break into the Congress vote bank as several leaders have defected to the BJP as the party is trying to induct cadres from other party to raise its prospects in meeting its target of achieving at least 60% vote share this time in the upcoming polls.

Several disgruntled Congress leaders and unhappy cadres have in recent weeks left the party to join the BJP. Responding to it, a senior Congress leader and former Speaker Charandas Mahant said the mistakes committed by ex-CM Baghel, Congress leaders (including him) and party workers led to defeat of the party in Chhattisgarh 2023 assembly polls. The polling in Chhattisgarh for 11 LS seats will be held in three-phase on April 19, April 26 and May 7. Maoist threat: The presence of the left-wing extremists in pockets of Lok Sabha constituencies like Bastar, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund apparently led the Election Commission to hold elections in three phases in Chhattisgarh with over 80,000 security personnel deployed.

Three-phase polling: The polling in the Maoist-hit Bastar will be in the first phase on April 19. The second phase on April 26 and the third phase will be on May 7.

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