LS polls: Cong eyes win in 6 seats in Chhattisgarh in which BJP never lost | Lok Sabha Elections News

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Six out of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh have been the Bharatiya Janata Party’s bastions where it never lost the elections since the state’s formation in 2000.


While the Congress has expressed confidence of breaching the saffron citadels this time, the BJP is hopeful of retaining them and also pocketing the other Lok Sabha seats in the state.


Of these six seats, Kanker, Surguja and Raigarh are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, Janjgir-Champa for the Scheduled Castes, while Raipur and Bilaspur are for the general category candidates.


In Rajnandagon Lok Sabha seat, the BJP never tasted defeat since 2000 but in a 2007 bypoll, the Congress emerged victorious. This time, the Congress has fielded former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel from Rajnandgaon.


After Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh, the BJP fared well in both the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state.


The saffron party ruled the state uninterrupted for 15 years from 2003 to 2018 and came to power for the fourth term in the 2023 assembly polls.


The BJP won 10 Lok Sabha seats in 2004, 2009, and 2014. Despite a severe loss in the 2018 assembly elections, the BJP won nine seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.


Both the parties have declared their candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the state, to be held in three phases on April 19, April 26 and May 7.


The Congress has pinned hopes on a sitting MLA, two former legislators including a minister, two fresh faces and an experienced leader to breach the BJP’s six strongholds.


In Raipur Lok Sabha seat, the BJP has fielded Brijmohan Agrawal, an eight-term MLA and minister in the Vishnu Deo Sai-led present state government, dropping sitting MP Sunil Soni.


In 2019, Soni defeated Congress’ Pramod Dubey by a margin of 3,48,238 votes.


Ramesh Bais, currently the governor of Maharashtra, won Raipur seat seven times- 1989, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 – on BJP’s ticket.


The Congress has this time fielded former MLA Vikas Upadhyay from Raipur.


Upadhyay was elected MLA for the first time in 2018 from Raipur City West assembly seat but he lost the 2023 state polls.


In Kanker Lok Sabha seat also, the BJP has denied ticket to sitting MP Mohan Mandavi and fielded former MLA Bhojraj Nag, while the Congress has nominated Biresh Thakur, who represented panchayat bodies in the past.


Thakur lost to Mandavi in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll from Kanker by 6,914 votes. This seat was won by BJP’s Vikram Mandavi in 2014 and Sohan Potai in 2009 and 2004.


The BJP has also denied ticket to incumbent MP Guharam Ajgalle from Janjgir-Champa seat and fielded woman leader Kamlesh Jangde, a fresh face.


Ajgalley defeated Congress’ Ravi Bhardwaj by 83,255 votes in 2019.


This time, the Congress has fielded former state minister Shiv Kumar Dahariya.


BJP’s Kamla Devi Patle won this seat in 2014 and 2009 and Karuna Shukla in 2004.


In Surguja, the BJP has changed its candidate in every election and won the seat.


In 2019, Renuka Singh defeated Congress’ Khel Sai Singh.


This time, the BJP has fielded former MLA Chintamani Maharaj, who switched over from the Congress before the last assembly polls.


The Congress has fielded its youth leader Shashi Singh, daughter of former state minister Tuleshwar Singh.


BJP’s Kamalbhan Singh Marabi, Murarilal Singh and Nand Kumar Sai won the Surguja seat in 2014, 2009 and 2004 respectively.


Raigarh seat is the home turf of Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai. The BJP leader represented this parliamentary seat four times – 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.


In 2019, the BJP fielded Gomti Sai, who defeated Congress’ Laljeet Singh Rathia.


This time, the BJP has given ticket to Radheshyam Rathiya, a fresh face, while the Congress has pinned hopes on Menka Devi Singh, who belongs to the politically influential erstwhile Sarangarh royal family in the state.


The Bilaspur seat will see a contest between BJP’s Tokhan Sahu, a former MLA, and Congress’ incumbent legislator Devendra Yadav.


In 2019, BJP’s Arun Sao defeated Congress’ Atal Shrivastav.


BJP’s Lakhanlal Sahu, Dilip Singh Judev and Punnu Lal Mohile won this seat in 2014, 2009 and 2004 respectively.


Arun Sao, Renuka Singh and Gomti Sai were elected as MLAs in the last assembly polls.


In Rajnandgaon, BJP’s sitting MP Santosh Pandey is seeking a second straight term while the Congress has fielded former CM Baghel.


After the state’s formation, the Congress won Korba seat twice and Bastar, Mahasamund and Durg seats once in the general polls.


State Congress spokesperson Dhananjay Singh Thakur claimed his party will this time breach the six “so-called” BJP bastions.


“With a strong strategy in these seats, we have fielded strong candidates, we have been propagating five guarantees of the Congress and failures of the Modi government among the people,” Thakur said.


On the other side, an upbeat BJP, after registering a landslide victory in the 2023 Chhattisgarh assembly polls, is now eyeing a clean sweep in the parliamentary elections.


CM Sai recently said the Congress is a “sinking ship” and not united in the state.


“We will win all 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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