In several seats in Chhattisgarh, candidates have been repeated by their parties. In some seats, even the opponents are the same ones they faced in 2013 Assembly elections.
So far the surveys have given a slight edge to the Congress in Chhattisgarh Assembly elections 2018. The half-way mark in the 90-seat Assembly is 46 seats.
In 2013, the BJP had won 49 seats, the Congress won 39 while BSP bagged 1 seat. Here’s a look at the key constituencies of Chhattisgarh where many are contesting again and in some cases fighting the same opponents.
In the 2013 elections, BJP’s Amar Agrawal fought against Congress leader Vani Rao in Bilaspur seat. Agrawal won 72,255 votes and Rao won 56,656. The constituency witnessed high pitched campaign this year with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a rally in Bilaspur on November 12. Agarwal is standing for the polls again this year. His rival though has changed - Congress has fielded Shailesh Pandey on the seat. Brijesh Sahu is standing on JCC ticket for the seat.
In 2013 BJP candidate Anurag Singh Deo was outed by Congress leader TS Baba. Baba defeated BJP's Deo with a margin of 19,558 votes. In 2018, Deo and Baba are back in the fray. There will be a strong opposition posed by Sita Ram Das from BSP.
The seat was won by Congress in 2013 elections. Congress leader Baghel Lakheshwar had defeated BJP’s Dr Subhaoo Kashyap with a margin of 19,168 votes on the Bastar seat. The 2018 battle is interesting as this time again, as Lakheshwar and Kashyap will be facing each other on the reserved ST seat.
The constituency was in headlines because of the serious series of attacks between Naxalites on security forces ahead of the first phase of polls in Chhattisgarh.
Dantewada, which is the third least populous district in Chhattisgarh is worst affected by Left Wing Extremism. Congress’ Devti Karma defeated BJP candidate Bhimaram Mandavi by a margin of 5,900 votes in Naxal-infested Dantewada in assembly elections of 2013.
This year again the seat will witness an electoral contest between Mandavi and Devti with BSP’s Keshav Netam giving both a tough fight. In the 2008 assembly elections, Mandavi had claimed victory bagging 36,812 votes against CPI’s Manish Kunjam who was second with 24,805 votes.
Kawardha is a part of Chhattisgarh’s Kabhirdham district. In 2013 Assembly polls, BJP's Ashok Sahu defeated Congress candidate Akbar Bhai only by a narrow margin of 2,558 votes. Bhai is riding high on the fact that the margin was narrow and he might be able to win this time against Sahu. This time again the two will be contesting against each other with the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh fielding Agam Das Anant on the seat.
In 2013 Assembly polls, BJP’s Gauri Shankar Agrawal defeated Congress candidate Rajkamal Singhaniya with 22,928 votes in Kasdol. He is back in the fray with 2018 polls. Congress has won two out of three elections from this seat while BJP has won only once. Will Agarwal retian the seat? Or candidate of Nationalist Congress Party Shakuntala Sahu and BSP’s Rameshwar Prasad Kaiwart will give him a tough fight?
In 2013 Assembly polls, BJP's Santosh Bafna defeated Congress candidate Shamu Kashyap by a margin of 16658 votes in Jagdalpur. He is again BJP’s candidate for 2018 polls. Congress is prominent in 12 Vidhan Sabha seats of the Bastar division, but had only lost the Jagdalpur seat to BJP by 17,000 votes. In 2018, Santosh is facing Rekhchand Jain, contesting on a Congress ticket and Amit Pandey is Janta Congress Chhattisgarh's candidate.