On the eve of the Chhattisgarh assembly election, a Maoist blast in Chhattisgarh has left a commando injured and four others wounded. The incident highlights the challenges faced by security personnel during this crucial electoral process in the Maoist-affected Bastar region. Stay tuned to learn more about the ongoing election and its impact on the state.
The first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly election is currently underway, with voting taking place for 20 seats, including the Maoist-affected Bastar region. To ensure a safe and secure voting process, over 25,000 security personnel have been deployed for this two-phase election.
Unfortunately, there have been some incidents of violence. One soldier was injured in an IED blast triggered by Maoists in Sukma’s Tondamarka area during election duty. This serves as a reminder of the challenges and dangers faced by security personnel in these sensitive regions.
Out of the 20 seats being contested, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and one for Scheduled Castes. Political parties have been actively campaigning to win the hearts and votes of the people. The Congress party is highlighting the welfare schemes of the Baghel government and promising to waive farm loans if they retain power. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attacked Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over the alleged Mahadev betting app scam during the campaign.
Some prominent candidates in the first phase include Chhattisgarh Congress chief Deepak Baij, ministers Kawasi Lakhma, Mohan Markam, Mohammad Akbar, and Chhavindra Karma. Former Chief Minister Raman Singh is contesting as a BJP candidate from Ranjangaon. The AAP’s state unit chief Komal Hupendi is contesting from Bhanupratappur seat, while MLA Anup Nag is fighting as an independent from Antagarh seat.
Currently, the Congress holds 71 seats in the 90-member assembly. However, the assembly elections provide an opportunity for the opposition parties to challenge the ruling party’s stronghold.
The Maoists, who have called for a boycott of the assembly polls, have been responsible for acts of violence in the weeks leading up to the elections in Bastar. In separate incidents, Maoist IED explosions in Bastar’s Kanker and Narayanpur districts left two polling personnel and two paramilitary jawans wounded. To ensure a peaceful polling process, drones and helicopters have been deployed in Bastar.
The electorate in Bastar is around 20.4 lakh, with women constituting 51% of the voters. Voting hours varied on the 20 seats, with polling taking place from 7am to 3pm on 10 of the worst Maoist-hit seats and from 8am to 5pm on the remaining 10.
However, the threat posed by Maoists has led to some concerns among the polling parties. In the insurgency-ridden Bijapur district, some polling parties were hesitant to travel to assigned polling booths in remote areas due to Maoist warnings.
As the election progresses, it will be interesting to see how the political landscape in Chhattisgarh unfolds and which party emerges victorious in this closely watched contest.