Chhattisgarh phase 2 polling today: Fate of many star candidates to be sealed
Raipur, Nov 19: For the second and final phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections, polling will be held across 19 districts on Tuesday. A total of 1,079 candidates are in the fray, and both Congress and BJP are contesting all the 72 seats.
The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is in the fray for 25 seats and its ally and former Chief Minister Jogis Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) is vying in 46 seats.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded candidates in 66 constituencies.
Former chief minister Ajit Jogi and his two family members, IAS-turned-politician O P Choudhry and Sarguja's former royal T S Singhdeo -- there are many high-profile candidates whose fate would be sealed on Tuesday in the second phase of polling in this tribal-dominated state.
Election campaign ended last evening for the remaining 72 seats of the Chhattisgarh Assembly and the places where voting will take place include Kawardha, the home district of Chief Minister Raman Singh.
Singh is a registered voter in Kawardha, but contests polls from Rajnandgaon, where voting took place in the first phase of polls for 18 seats on November 12.
Entire Jogi family, except his son, Amit Jogi, are contesting the crucial Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh and they say their main aim is to ensure the defeat of both the BJP and the Congress in the state.
Ajit Jogi is contesting from Marwahi, his wife Renu Jogi from Konta and his daughter-in-law, Richa Jogi from Akaltara on BSP ticket. Jogi's new political outfit, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh is contesting polls in alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.
Apart from them, the fate of 10 ministers is also at stake in the second phase of polling including that of Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur South), Amar Agrawal (Bilaspur) and Rajesh Munat (Raipur West) among others.
Besides prominent Congress leader and a probable chief ministerial candidate from Congress Charan Das Mahant is contesting from Sakti in Janjgir-Champa district. The state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel is contesting from Patan seat in Durg district.
In 2013 Assembly polls, BJP had won 49 seats, Congress 39, BSP got one and an independent candidate won from one seat. In 2013, the total turnout for all 90 seats was 74.65 per cent.
In the first phase of polling for 18 constituencies including in 12 naxal-affected seats, the total voter turnout was 76.28 per cent and political pundits are expecting the voting to be high in the second phase also.