Lok Sabha election in Chhattisgarh will conclude with polling in the rest 7 constituencies in the third phase on May 7. Election campaigns are at its peak. The contest is chiefly between the BJP and the Congress, and there seems to be very close contests between their candidates in almost half of the constituencies. Obviously, the election outcome will be laden with some surprises, since Congress seems to be recovering some of its lost grounds to much frustration of the BJP.

The seven constituencies that are going to polls in the third phase on May 7 are – Bilaspur, Durg, Janjgir-Champa, Korba, Raigarh, Raipur, and Surguja. Elections on Rajnandgaon, Mahasamand, and Kanker seats were held in the second phase on April 26, while election onBastar seat was held on April 19. BJP had bagged 50.70 per cent votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha election as against 40.91 per cent of Congress. Though BJP was able to oust the ruling Congress in November 2023.

Vidhan Sabha election, its vote share was considerably reduced to 46.27 per cent while Congress’ votes share increased to 42.23 per cent. It is in this backdrop of narrowed votes share difference, the Lok Sabha election 2024 has become a high-stake affair for PM Narendra Modi who was seeking for him and his party a third term. Chhattisgarh is a tribal state where 4 out of 11 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe. Tribal population is around 30 per cent of the total population of the state. Water, forest, and land (jal, jangal, and jameen) are their chief concern. They feel apathy and neglect by the double engine government led by BJP, both in the state and the Centre, and therefore it is bound to have some adverse impact against the political fortune of the BJP. The four reserved seats for STs are Surguja, Raigarh, Bastar, and Kanker. Bastar and Kanker has already polled on the first and second phase respectively. Bastar seat was won by INC in 2019 while BJP had won Kanker seat but with a winning margin of only 6,914 votes. INC this time seems to have upper hand in both the constituencies.

As far as ST constituencies of Surguja and Raigarh are concerned, both the seats were won by the BJP in 2019. Election campaigns on these two seats are on the peak. BJP seams to have gained an upper hand in Surguja, but Congress is offering them tough electoral battle in the Raigarh seat. Janjgir Champa, a seat reserved for SC, is clearly heading in favour of the Congress. BJP had won this seat in 2019 with a margin of 83,255 votes. BJP’s support base in this constituency had considerably declined which was noticed even in the election results of November 2023. Out of eight Vidhan Sabha segments in Janjgir Champa Lok Sabha constituency, BJP was not able to win even a single seat. INC has seemingly retained its dominance on the seat over the BJP during election campaign.

Among the two seats INC had won in 2019, one of them was Korba. This constituency is witnessing a tough electoral battle and BJP has lately become more aggressive to unseat the Congress from this constituency. It seems to be a neck-and-neck contest between the two parties. The Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency polled in the second phase along with Mahasamand. INC has an edge over the BJP in Rajnandgaon where the party seems to be leading in five of the eight Vidhan Sabha segments where Congress candidates won in the November 2023 state election. There is a tough contest between the two parties in Mahasamand.

BJP seems to have an edge in Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur though the party election campaign has lately become aggressive in all the seven constituencies going to polls in the third phase. The party is relying chiefly on PM Narendra Modi’s guarantees, though the state party leadership has also been claiming to have fulfilled their promises made during the 2023 assembly elections, chiefly the direct cash transfers to farmers and married women. Party is trying to consolidate Hindu votes in their favour by raising issues on Hindutva line. Congress on the other hand campaigning with a promise to implement five-fold justice to the people that is part of the party manifesto. The party is also telling the people how the BJP government in curtailing the social welfare schemes implemented by Congress government.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.