Over 1,000 candidates left in fray for Chhattisgarh polls

November 7th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Nov 7 (IANS) As many as 1,056 candidates are in the fray for Chhattisgarh’s two-phase elections to pick a 90-member assembly after the last date for withdrawal of candidates ended Thursday.The polls are scheduled Nov 14 and 20. Of the 1,056 candidates, 687 will contest in the second and final phase, an official said Friday.

The Election Commission has set up 20,952 polling stations in the state. A total of 15.2 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.

In the first phase, 39 assembly segments will go to the polls, including 12 Maoist insurgency hit seats. Fiftyone seats will see election in the second and final phase. The results will be declared Dec 8.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has 52 members in the outgoing assembly, is contesting all the 90 seats. The Congress is fighting on 87 seats and has left three for the Nationalist Congress Party.

The Congress won 34 seats and the NCP just one in 2003.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, which has one member in the outgoing assembly, is also contesting all the 90 seats. Analysts see the party as a serious contender in at least a dozen seats, mainly located in the forested belt.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has thrown a serious challenge to the Congress and the BJP in Dantewada and Konta seats. Both seats are held by the Congress.

The CPI has formed a third front with Loktantrik Samajwadi Party and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha to contest 41 seats, with CPI alone putting up candidates in 22.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and some other smaller outfits too are contesting in the elections.

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