Chhattisgarh elections: Why the results of the first phase would be crucial
Raipur, Nov 12: Voting has begun for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.The voting is being held in 18 seats of which 10 fall under districts that are naxal affected.
There is heavy security in place in the wake of the naxalites calling for a boycott of the elections. As polling began naxals triggered an IED blast at the Tumapkpal camp at Dantewada. The blast took place when the troops of the 195 Battalion of the CRPF was approaching a polling booth. No casualties or injures have been reported.
The first phase of the polling is very important for both the ruling BJP and Congress. Five years back the Congress had won 12 out the 18 seats, following a major attack by the naxalites that killed at least 25 people including senior leaders of the party at Bastar.
While the BJP and the Congress are the key players, one would also need to watch others such as the BSP and the Ajit Jogi led, Janta Congress Chhattisgarh. These parties would play a crucial role and it would be interesting to see if they would eat into the vote shares of the major players.
In 2013, the battle in the state for the 90 constituencies was a close one. The BJP won 49 seats while the Congress ended up with 39. The BSP had secured one seat. However there was a difference one per cent in the vote share between the BJP and Congress.
In the first phase there are over 30 lakh voters who will decide the fate of 190 candidates including Chief Minister, Raman Singh, who is contesting from Rajnandgaon.