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Change in Chhattisgarh’s political landscape

Seven of 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Chhattisgarh would go for elections on April 23 wrapping up the three-phase contest for the state.

, ET Bureau|
Apr 19, 2019, 08.57 AM IST
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ANI
ANI
Chhattisgarh is crucial for both national parties.
New Delhi: Fresh out of assembly elections and a subsequent regime change in 2018, the political landscape of Chhattisgarh has changed completely in the Lok Sabha polls.

Seven of 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Chhattisgarh would go for elections on April 23 wrapping up the three-phase contest for the state. The electoral issues have changed completely since the assembly elections. While BJP is trying to focus on nationalism, Congress has been trying to keep it a local issues centric election. Congress, which swept the state in December with a two-thirds majority, is running a “Jo kaha so Kiya” campaign, which centres around the promises it has kept including farm loan waiver, MSP of Rs 2500 for paddy, halving electricity tariff and employment generation plan for the youth.

In the first phase on April 11, Naxal -hit Bastar had gone to polls. In the second phase on Thursday, three seats – Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Kanker – saw voting. Seats that vote in the final phase include Surguja, Raigarh, Janjgir Champa, Korba, Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur. Chhattisgarh is crucial for both national parties. In a straight fight, both parties are hoping for a victory. In the 2014 elections, Congress had won just one seat – Durg while BJP swept the state. Congress is hoping to reverse the verdict of 2014. Sensing a strong anti-incumbency in Chhattisgarh, BJP changed its sitting MPs and fielded new candidates. It will be a largely direct fight between Congress and BJP. Former chief minister and Congress leader Ajit Jogi’s Janta Party Chhattisgarh has an alliance with BSP. However, Jogi has not fielded any candidate in the Lok Sabha elections, leaving all seats to BSP. The alliance had cut into BJP’s vote in the assembly elections.

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