Voting Begins In Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-Hit Zone, Mizoram: 10 Facts

Twenty of Chhattisgarh’s 90 seats will go to polls today (Representational)

New Delhi:
Voting has begun in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in the northeast to pick their next government — an election that holds high stakes for the Congress and BJP. For Chhattisgarh, it will be the first phase — the second is due 10 days.

Here are the top 10 Points in this big story:

  1. Twenty of Chhattisgarh’s 90 seats will go to polls today. Twelve of the seats are located in the Maoist-hit Bastar region, and arrangements have been made for strict security. Around 60,000 security personnel have been deployed in this zone. In 2018, the Congress has won 17 of the 20 seats while the BJP had won two.

  2. The key candidates include the BJP’s former Chief Minister Raman Singh, Bhawna Bohra, Lata Usendi and Gautam Uike. Congress’s Mohammad Akbar, Savitri Manoj Mandavi, former state unit chief Mohan Markam, Vikram Mandavi and Kawasi Lakhma are also in the race.

  3. The ruling Congress has pinned its hopes on Bhupesh Baghel, the man credited with revitalising the party’s state unit after its entire leadership was wiped out in a Maoist attack in 2013. The BJP – sticking to its traditional formula — has not projected any face for the top job and has powered its campaign with the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  4. The Congress thinks that of the two heartland states it rules, its bigger chance of a victory lies in Chhattisgarh, where the state government claims a massive performance on multiple parameters, including agriculture, education and controlling the Maoists.

  5. The party’s campaign, though, was hit midway with corruption allegations against the Chief Minister. Sources said during investigation of a now illegal Mahadev online betting app, it was found that around Rs 508 crore has been paid by its promoters to Bhupesh Baghel and regular payments have been made in the past.

  6. Mr Baghel has hit back, accusing the BJP of “weaponising” the Enforcement Directorate, which he called the ruling party’s electoral “ally”. The allegations, he added, will not affect his party’s chances.

  7.  In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front, which came to power in 2018 in alliance with the BJP, putting an end to the 10-year rule of Congress’s iconic chief minister Lal Thanhawla, is hoping for another term. In the state’s traditionally binary politics, the ruling party is given two terms before being shown the door.

  8. This year’s election, though, is expected to be multi-cornered, with the new, rising regional party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) projecting a young face for the state’s top job, and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party joining the race.

  9. In 2018, the Mizo National Front bagged 26 of the 40 assembly seats, with a vote share of 37.8 per cent. The Congress secured five seats and the BJP won one seat.

  10. The counting of votes from both states will take place on December 3 along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.

Leave a Comment