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Chhattisgarh Elections: Campaigning for first phase of polls ends; BJP, Congress blame each other over Naxalism

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 11 Nov 2018, 12:14:15 AM
Chhattisgarh Elections 2018: Campaigning for first phase of polls ends (Photo Source: PTI)

New Delhi:

The high-decibel political campaign for the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections on Saturday came to an end, with the BJP and the Opposition Congress blaming each other over various issues, including that of Naxalite–Maoist insurgency in the state. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally on Friday accused the Rahul Gandhi-led party of backing "urban Naxals", the Congress alleged that it was an attempt to hide the "failure" of the BJP government in combating Naxalism and bringing development to the state.

Polling to 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh will take place Monday, November 12, 2018. "Chhattisgarh: Campaigning for the first phase of state Assembly Elections concludes. Voting for 18 constituencies to be held on November 12," the news agency ANI reported.

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Out of 18 constituencies, in 10 Maoist affected assembly segments, the campaigning ended at around 3 pm while in other 8 places the party leaders continued to hold rallies till 5 pm this evening.

As part of the last round of campaigning for the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Saturday addressed public meetings at various places including Gariabandh, Rajnandgaon, Bastar among others.

Other prominent figures from both the parties such as Union minister Sushma Swaraj, Babul Supriyo, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, senior Congress leader and actor Raj Babbar also hold rallies in a bid to woo voters for their respective candidates in the state.

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A total of 190 candidates, including Chief Minister Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon, will be in the fray during the first phase of voting in the state. The BJP had lost 12 of these 18 seats in the last polls in 2013.

An estimated 31,79,520 voters, including 16,21,839 male, 15,57,592 female and 89 of third-gender, are eligible to vote. As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for this phase.

Polling to the remaining 72 constituencies, in the second and final phase, will be held on November 20, 2018. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 11, 2018.

For long, Chhattisgarh has been a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress while this time a third front comprising Ajit Jogi's Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), Mayawati's BSP and the CPI has been emerging to make some significant changes in the poll-predictions of the state.

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Talking about the last Assembly Polls in Chhattisgarh, out of the total 90 seats, the BJP had won 49 seats, Congress 39, BSP 1 and independent 1. The Saffron Party has won three consecutive elections in the state.

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First Published : 10 Nov 2018, 08:46:43 PM