In anticipation of the forthcoming Chhattisgarh assembly elections, the Congress party has unveiled its long-awaited list of candidates. The party’s announcement of 30 candidates comes as the state prepares for a two-phase election scheduled for November 7 and 17. Notably, this list was revealed on the auspicious occasion of the first day of Sharadiya Navratri.
The Congress party’s candidate list includes prominent figures, setting the stage for intensified political activities as the battle for seats in the state assembly heats up. Notable inclusions are Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who will contest from his Patan legislative assembly constituency, Deputy Chief Minister T S Singhdeo, running from Ambikapur legislative assembly constituency, Speaker of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly Dr Charan Das Mahant, who will stand in Sakti, and State Congress President Deepak Baij, who has been named as the candidate for Chitrakote legislative assembly constituency.
The party has declared its candidates for 19 out of 20 seats slated for the first phase of the assembly elections, set to take place on November 7. Notably, the Congress has introduced five new candidates in this initial list, signaling a mix of experienced leaders and fresh faces in its election strategy.
The Congress party has also opted for change by not granting tickets to seven sitting MLAs who contested in the assembly elections in 2023. However, the candidate for the Jagdalpur assembly seat has yet to be announced, a seat that will also see elections in the first phase.
In a significant move, Cabinet Minister Guru Rudra Kumar has been selected to run for the Nawagarh assembly seat, reserved for SC, replacing the incumbent Guru Dayal Singh. Neelkanth Chandravanshi has been chosen over sitting MLA Mamta Chandrakar for the Pandariya seat.
Many prominent figures have been retained, such as Cabinet Minister Mohammad Akbar, Yashoda Verma, Daleshwar Sahu, Inder Shah Mandvi, Savitri Mandvi, Deputy Assembly Speaker Sant Ram Netam, former State Congress President and Cabinet Minister Mohan Markam, Chandan Kashyap, Lakheshwar Baghel, Vikram Mandvi, and Kawasi Lakhma. These candidates have been named for various assembly seats, with an emphasis on ST (Scheduled Tribe) constituencies.
Several sitting MLAs have seen their tickets cut, with new candidates stepping in. This includes candidates like Harshita Baghel, Girish Dewangan, Bhola Ram Sahu, Roop Singh, Shankar Dhurva, and MP Deepak Baij, all of whom have been nominated to represent their respective constituencies.
Notably, Cabinet Ministers, including TS Singhdeo, Amarjeet Bhagat, Umesh Patel, Jaisingh Aggarwal, Charandas Mahant, Dr. Shivkumar Dahria, Anil Bhendiya, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, and Cabinet Minister Ravindra Choubey have been repeated as candidates.
It is important to note that the Congress party has fielded all its cabinet ministers for the assembly polls in 2023. Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has announced candidates for 85 out of the 90 seats so far, setting the stage for a highly competitive electoral battle in Chhattisgarh.