Among a number of high-profile contests in the second phase of Chhattisgarh polls to the remaining 70 of 90 assembly constituencies to be held on Friday is the fight in Patan, where chief minister Bhupesh Baghel is pitted on his home turf against nephew Vijay Baghel, the MP who represents Durg.
Janta Chhattisgarh Congress (JCCJ), floated by former Congress CM Ajit Jogi after he parted ways in 2016, had in alliance with BSP and CPI won five seats and secured 7.65% votes in 2018. His son Amit Jogi, struggling to keep the party afloat, is also a contestant in Patan.
Bharatpur Sonhat is another ‘VIP seat’, where BJP has fielded Union minister of state for tribal affairs Renuka Singh. In Lormi, BJP has fielded state party chief, Bilaspur MP Arun Sao, to take on Congress candidate Thaneshwar Sahu, chairman of Chhattisgarh State Backward Classes Commission. JCC had won by the seat last time though the legislator, Dharamjeet Singh Thakur, later joined BJP.
Deputy CM TS Singh Deo, the richest MLA going by his declared assets of ₹500 crore, is pitted against Rajesh Agarwal in his Ambikapur bastion. Agarwal is a former Congress man who quit the party to join BJP ahead of 2018 elections.
- Madhya Pradesh
Other interesting contests include Raipur City South where BJP’s senior leader Brijmohan Agarwal, who has remained undefeated since 1990, is locked in a fight with Congress’ Mahant Ramsundar Das.
Congress has tried to beat anti-incumbency by dropping 22 of its 71 MLAs. Political equations have changed since Jogi’s death. Of the five JCCJ MLAs, Khairagarh’s Devwrat Singh too has passed away. Jogi’s wife Renu is seeking re-election in Kota and her daughter-in-law Richa, who fought on a BSP ticket but lost to BJP’s Saurabh Singh in Akaltara, is contesting the same constituency on a JCCJ ticket this time.