294 candidates have filed nominations for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections. Officials said on Friday that 254 nomination papers were filed on the last day of nomination for 20 assembly constituencies in the first phase of assembly elections. Thus, a total of 294 candidates have filed 455 nomination papers for the first phase. Let us tell you that the notification for the first phase was issued on October 13. The nomination papers will be scrutinized on October 21. Candidates will be able to withdraw their names on 23 October.

Officials said that on Friday, 33 cases were reported in Rajnandgaon assembly constituency, 29 in Kawardha, 20 in Pandariya, 15 in Bhanupratappur, 14-14 in Jagdalpur and Dantewada, 12-12 in Dongargaon and Antagarh, 11-11 in Khairagarh and Kondagaon, Bijapur and 10-10 nomination papers were filed in Konta, 9 in Chitrakot, 8-8 in Narayanpur and Khujji, 7-7 in Kanker and Keshkal and 6-6 in Bastar and Mohla-Manpur. Voting for 90 seats of Chhattisgarh Assembly will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17.

Officials said that in the first phase, nomination papers have been filled in 12 constituencies of Bastar division including eight assembly constituencies of Rajnandgaon, Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki, Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai and Kabirdham districts. Voting will be held on November 7 for 20 seats in the first phase of elections being held in two phases in the state. The total number of voters in the 20 assembly constituencies of the first phase is 40,78,681, which includes 19,93,937 males, 20,84,675 females and 69 voters of the third gender.

A total of five thousand 304 polling stations have been created for these assembly constituencies. In the first phase, voting will be held for Konta, Bijapur, Dantewada, Chitrakot, Jagdalpur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Keshkal, Kanker, Bhanupratapur, Antagarh, Mohla-Manpur, Khujji, Dongargaon, Rajnandgaon, Dongargarh, Khairagarh, Kawardha and Pandariya assembly constituencies. . Voting for the other 70 assembly constituencies will be held in the second phase on November 17. Notification for the second phase of voting will be issued on Saturday, October 21 and nominations can be filed till October 30.

Chhattisgarh’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has so far announced candidates on 86 seats out of 90, and ruling party Congress has announced candidates on 83 seats. Of the 20 seats where voting is being held in the first phase, 12 are reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) while one is reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. In the 2018 assembly elections, Congress had won 17 seats in these constituencies, while BJP had won two and Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) had won one seat.

Congress later won two more seats out of the remaining three in the by-elections. Among the 20 seats for which voting will be held on November 7, the main candidates from BJP are Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon, former minister Kedar Kashyap from Narayanpur (SC), Lata Usendi from Kondagaon (SC), Vikram Usendi from Antagarh (SC), Bijapur ( Mahesh Gagda from SC) and former IAS officer Neelkanth Tekam from Keshkal (SC).

Prominent candidates from the Congress in the first phase include State Congress President and MP Deepak Baij from Chitrakote (ST), Minister Kawasi Lakhma from Konta (ST) and Mohan Markam from Kondagaon (ST). Congress formed the government in the 2018 assembly elections by winning 68 seats in the 90-member assembly. BJP was reduced to 15 seats. JCC(J) and BSP had won five and two seats respectively in the state. The current MLAs of Congress are 71.