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Eighteen assembly seats in eight districts of Chhattisgarh’s security-sensitive zone will go to polls on Monday

Jagdalpur :11/11/18: As many as 18 assembly seats in eight districts of Chhattisgarh’s security-sensitive zone will go to polls on Monday. Chief Minister Raman Singh is hoping to continue his victory spree from Rajnandgaon seat for the third consecutive term.

This time he is seeking re-election against Karuna Shukla of the Congress. Shukla is the niece of former Prime Minister and prominent BJP leader late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Shukla was a BJP Member of Parliament from Janjjir Lok Sabha constituency but she left the party in 2013 and joined the Congress in 2014. The same year during the General Elections while contesting on the Congress ticket from Bilaspur, she lost to the BJP candidate Lakhanlal Sahu. Since then, she has been actively engaged in the state politics, particularly in Rajnandgaon.

At present, the Congress rules over 39 seats in the state, while the ruling BJP holds 49 seats in the region.

In the previous assembly elections held in 2013, the BJP, although retained power in the state, lost its mark in Bastar division and the Congress had an upper hand in the region. Out of a total of 12 seats, the Congress grabbed eight seats while the BJP managed to win only four seats.

In the past five years, the Raman Singh-led government has stated to have undertaken plenty of development works in Bastar. There are many assembly constituencies in Bastar division, where the BJP has given tickets to the old faces. In Rajnandgaon district, the party has fielded new faces in the region, which has six constituencies at stake.

The BJP government has claimed to have taken strict steps in tackling Naxalism. However, local residents of Bastar are still struggling with the decade-long problem. This factor could damage the BJP’s prospects this time round.

The BJP and the Congress leaders have left nothing unturned to turn the table on each other during their campaign. Speaking at a rally in the state where the first phase voting will take place on November 12 and second phase on 20, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of supporting ‘Urban Naxals.’

He said: “Children who should hold pens in their hands, they are now holding guns in a monstrous manner. Urban Maoists live a luxurious lifestyle while they ruin the lives of children belonging to the tribal community, and Congress supports these people (urban Maoists).”

Similarly, the Congress has tried to woo the voters promising immediate loan waivers to poor farmers within 10 days of forming the government in the state. The party has also promised better healthcare facilities and a safer society for women in Chhattisgarh. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly asserted his resolve to ensure all round development of the state if his party is voted to power.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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