Congress releases first list of 30 candidates

Of the nine OBC candidates featuring on the list, three belong to Sahu, a dominant OBC community in the state that hugely contributed to Congress’ victory in the previous polls.

The Congress has not declared a candidate for Jagdalpur, which is among the 20 constituencies slated to go to polls in the first phase on November 7.

The filing of nominations for the first phase began on October 13.

The second phase of polls will be held November 17, covering 70 constituencies. Votes will be counted on December 3.

CM Baghel visited Maa Mahamaya temple in Raipur and offered prayers in the afternoon.

Talking to reporters, he expressed his gratitude to the party high command for re-nominating him from Patan constituency and said that the mouths of “those who were spreading rumours (that he would change his seat)” have been shut.

Sitting MLAs on eight seats have been replaced with other candidates in the first list and no more candidates could be changed beyond this, he said.

He exuded confidence that his party candidate Girish Dewangan would defeat former CM and senior BJP leader Raman Singh in Rajnandgaon.

The BJP has so far announced its candidates for 85 seats, including the 20 seats where elections will be held in the first phase.

In the 2018 Chhattisgarh assembly polls, the Congress registered a landslide victory by securing 68 seats in the 90-member House and comfortably formed the government.

The BJP was reduced to 15 seats, while the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the Bahujan Samaj Party had bagged 5 and 2 seats, respectively.

The present strength of the Congress in the House is 71. It has set a target of winning 75 seats this time.

(With inputs from PTI)

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