A total 1,219 candidates have filed nominations for 70 constituencies which will go to polls on November 17 in the second phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections, poll authorities said.
The deadline for filing nominations for the second phase of polls ended on Monday.
Out of the total 90 assembly seats in the state, polling in 20 seats will be held in the first phase on November 7.
For the second phase of polls, a total 1,219 candidates have filed 1,985 nomination papers, which will be scrutinised on Tuesday, a statement issued by the office of state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.
The last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 2.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Deputy CM TS Singh Deo, their eight cabinet colleagues, state assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant are among the prominent candidates from the Congress in the second phase.
State BJP chief Arun Sao, leader of opposition in the assembly Narayan Chandel, former ministers and sitting MLAs Brijmohan Agarwal, Punnulal Mohile and Ajay Chandrakar, three incumbent Lok Sabha members including a Union minister, are among the key candidates from the BJP for this phase.
In the second phase of voting, the contest in Patan seat will be keenly watched as CM Bhupesh Baghel of the Congress will take on his nephew and BJP candidate Vijay Baghel, the Lok Sabha member from Durg.
The entry of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) state president Amit Jogi, son of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, from Patan has added another dimension to the contest.
In the high profile Ambikapur seat, Deputy CM Singh Deo is pitted against BJP’s Rajesh Agrawal.
In Raipur South seat, the Congress has fielded Dudhadhari Math’s Mahant Ram Sundar Das against BJP strongman Brijmohan Agrawal.
In the second phase of polls, voting would be held in 70 constituencies of 22 districts in the state.
In the 20 other constituencies where polling will be held in the first phase, 223 candidates are in the fray.
Of the 70 seats going to polls in the second phase, 17 are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) and nine for Scheduled Caste (SC) category candidates.
In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress won 51 out of these 70 seats, the BJP bagged 13, the JCC (J) got 4 and the Bahujan Samaj Party got 2 seats.
The Congress later bagged one more seat in bypolls.
The Congress had registered a landslide victory in the 2018 polls, winning a total of 68 seats and comfortably formed the government. The BJP was reduced to 15 seats, while the JCC (J) and the BSP bagged 5 and 2 seats, respectively.
The current strength of the Congress in the state is 71.
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