Maoist Blast In Chhattisgarh On Election Day, Commando On Poll Duty Injured

Chhattisgarh votes in the first of the two-phase election today

New Delhi:
Voting is underway in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly election for 20 seats, several of them in Maoist-affected Bastar. Over 25,000 security personnel have been deployed in the first of the two-phase election.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story

  1. One soldier of the CRPF CoBRA Battalion was injured in an IED blast triggered by Maoists in the Tondamarka area of Sukma. The soldier was deployed for election duty.

  2. Of the 20 seats, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and one for Scheduled Castes. The highest number of contestants is in Rajnandgaon constituency (29) while the lowest number of candidates is seven each in Chitrakot and Dantewada seats.

  3. The Congress based its campaign on the series of welfare schemes of the Baghel government for farmers, women, tribals and Dalits as well as a promise to waive farm loans if it retains power.

  4. The first phase of campaigning saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacking Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over the alleged Mahadev betting app scam, while other BJP leaders spoke on religious conversion, deteriorating law and order and corruption.

  5. Chhattisgarh Congress chief and MP Deepak Baij (Chitrakot), ministers Kawasi Lakhma (Konta), Mohan Markam (Kondagaon) and Mohammad Akbar (Kawardha) as well as Chhavindra Karma (Dantewada), the son of late leader Mahendra Karma, are among the prominent candidates from the ruling party in the first phase.

  6. From the BJP, former Chief Minister Raman Singh is contesting from Ranjangaon against the Congress’s Girish Dewangan, the chairman of Chhattisgarh State Mineral Development Corporation.

  7. Other prominent BJP leaders in this phase include four former ministers Lata Usendi (Kondagaon seat), Vikram Usendi (Antagarh), Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur) and Mahesh Gagda (Bijapur), and former IAS officer Neelkanth Tekam from Keshkal.

  8. The Aam Aadmi Party’s state unit chief Komal Hupendi will contest from Bhanupratappur seat, while MLA Anup Nag, after being denied a ticket by the Congress, is fighting as an independent from Antagarh seat.

  9. The Congress has 71 seats in the 90-member assembly. In the 2018 polls, it had inflicted a crushing defeat on the BJP, which had been ruling the state since 2003.

  10. Voting will be held between 7 am and 3 pm in 10 seats, namely Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur and Konta. Votes will be cast between 8 am and 5 pm in Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Pandariya and Kawardha Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot.

With inputs from PTI

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