Campaigning for second phase in C'garh ends tomorrow

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Raipur, Nov 17 (UNI) Campaigning for the second and last phase of Assembly elections in 51 constituencies of Chhattisgarh, scheduled for November 20, will end tomorrow evening.

Both the Congress and the BJP had left no stone unturned and engaged their leaders and star campaigners in the electioneering to woo the voters.

An estimated 8.8 million voters will choose their representatives for 51 seats at 12,073 polling booths. There are 687 candidates, including 50 females, in the fray.

The BJP, which pressed into action several top leaders for campaigning, were front runners in election meetings.

On the other hand, the Congress, which showed some laxity during campaigning for the first phase, roped in several leaders from other states to strengthen their canvassing.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who did not participate in the campaign for the first phase, was likely to address a couple of election meetings tomorrow.

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani, party president Rajnath Singh, vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and general secretary Sushma Swaraj, along with Chief Minister Raman Singh, were already holding several election meetings everyday.

Former BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi and several other party leaders, including cine star Shatrughan Sinha and cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, were campaigning in different constituencies.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today addressed four election meetings, while party leaders like Digvijay Singh, Sriprakash Jaiswal and several others were touring various constituencies.

Star Congress campaigner Ajit Jogi was addressing eight to nine election meetings daily, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Rajshekhara Reddy and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupindra Singh Hooda had also put their strength for the party.

The BSP, which has fielded candidates from all 90 seats, organised a public meeting in Bilaspur yesterday where the party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati addressed voters.

Leaders of the CPI, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and other smaller parties were also campaigning in the state, though they were mainly going for village to village or door-to-door canvassing.

In the last phase on November 20, Bhatgaon assembly segment in Sarguja district has the highest number of 29 candidates, while Pathalgaon seat in Jashpur district have the minimum of seven candidates.

The first phase of polling in 39 constituencies of 10 districts in southern parts of the state was held on November 14 during which 68 per cent electorate exercised their franchise.

UNI MB PS 1957

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