The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have locked horns ahead of the 2018 Assembly Elections in crucial five states - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana. With the high-pitched political drama gaining pace ahead of the assembly polls, the Congress on Friday finalised the list of 17 candidates for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections. The names of the candidates will be released in a day or two.
However, the party is yet to finalise its candidate for Rajnandgaon, the constituency of present Chief Minister and BJP leader Raman Singh.
"Congress candidates for 17 seats have been finalised for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections. One seat of Rajnandgaon, the constituency of CM Raman Singh, has been put on hold," TS Singhdeo, Congress Legislative Party leader of Chhattisgarh was quoted by ANI.
Congress candidates for 17 seats have been finalised for the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections. One seat of Rajnandgaon, the constituency of CM Raman Singh, has been put on hold: Congress Legislative Party leader of Chhattisgarh, TS Singhdeo— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2018
The first phase of election for 18 Maoist-hit constituencies will take place in Chhattisgarh on November 12 while the second phase on 72 seats is slated for November 20, 2018.
Early in the day, the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has announced names of its 36 candidates for the upcoming state assembly elections. Mizoram Assembly election is scheduled to take place on November 28.
Talking about the remaining states, polling in Rajasthan and Telangana will be held on December 7. Madhya Pradesh will go to polls along with Mizoram on November 28. Counting of votes would take place on December 11.
The process of nomination filing will start with the issuance of a gazette notification for the first phase on October 16. The last date for filing nominations is October 23 and scrutiny would be completed by the next day. Withdrawal of candidatures can be allowed till October 26 for the first phase.
Similarly, the gazette notification for the second phase will be issued on October 26 while the last date to file nominations will be November 2 and scrutiny will be completed by the next day. Candidates can withdraw their nominations till November 5 after which 72 constituencies would go to polls on November 20.
As per the latest data, released by the Election Commission, there are total 1,85,45,819 voters including 92,95,301 men, 92,49,459 women and 1,059 third-gender voters in the state. The state has 23,632 polling booths, out of which 19,240 are in rural and 4,392 in urban areas.
The BJP is in power in the state since 2003. In the 2013 Assembly polls, it bagged 49 seats while the Congress won 39. The remaining two were won by the BSP and an Independent respectively.
Apart from Chhattisgarh, the BJP is also in power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. In Mizoram, the stakes are even high for both the party, as the Congress will fight for survival in its last stronghold in the northeast with BJP setting its sights on a ‘Congress-mukt’ northeast.