Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who is seeking his fourth consecutive term, on Tuesday filed his nomination papers from Rajnandgaon Assembly constituency for the next month's state polls.
Accompanied by his wife Veena Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, party in-charge for Chhattisgarh Anil Jain and several other leaders and party workers, Raman Singh reached the district collectorate to file his papers. Singh's son and MP from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat Abhishek Singh was also present.
During the filing of nomination, Singh touched the feet of Adityanath and took his blessings.
The two-time MLA from Rajanandgaon constituency, Singh is seeking third consecutive victory from the seat. In 2004, he was an MLA from Dongargaon assembly constituency in Rajnandgaon district.
Congress has fielded Karuna Shukla, niece of former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee against Singh from Rajnandgaon.
Ahead of filing nominations, Singh told reporters, "I have full faith on the strength of party workers and booth-level workers. The BJP has dedicated this election to Atal ji and each party worker has vowed to form the government for the fourth consecutive term with a thumping majority in the state".
When asked about Shukla contesting against him, Singh said, "They (Congress) did not get any local candidate..." on Tuesday is the last day of filing of nominations for the first phase of state assembly polls to be held on November 12.
Candidates from BJP, Congress and other parties also filed their nominations for the 18 seats spread across eight Naxal-affected districts of Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Sukma, Kondagaon, Kanker, Narayanpur and Rajnandgaon, which will go to polls in the first phase.
Chhattisgarh has 90-member Assembly and the polls are being held in two phases i.e. on November 12 and 20. The votes will be counted on December 11.
The BSP’s alliance with the CPI and the Chhattisgarh Janata Congress of former CM Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh has created the ground for the first three-way battle in the state’s history of assembly polls. Recent elections in the state have seen contests restricted largely to the BJP and the Congress.
On October 15, the BSP announced this coalition with the Chhattisgarh Janata Congress and the CPI, which had secured 5.15 per cent of the voteshare in the 13 seats where it fielded candidates.
Meanwhile, in Chhattisgarh, where Raman Singh has failed to control Maoism, the Congress is hobbled by a lack of state leadership.
Chhattisgarh has always been a close contest and something that people often miss is that the Congress actually improved its vote-share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Chhattisgarh from the 2013 assembly elections. So, the trend is clear that the Congress continues to gain momentum there. I would be surprised if the Congress doesn’t win these three states, Political economist Praveen Chakravarty, who heads the Congress’s data analytics team told Outlook.
(With inputs from PTI )
Political economist Praveen Chakravarty, who heads the Congress’s data analytics team