Raipur, 30 March : As many as seven candidates are in the fray for Naxal-infested Bastar, the only Lok Sabha constituency in Chhattisgarh which shall be going in for Lok Sabha polls in the 1st phase on April 11. Total eight candidates had filed their nomination papers for Bastar parliamentary constituency.
With rejection of nomination of one candidate Jaisingh Kavde of Rashtriya Jansabha Party during scrutiny of papers, seven remained in the fray. Later, none of these candidates withdrew from the contest nominations till the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers.
All the contestants have been allotted elections symbols, said officials in the office of Chief Electoral Office. The young and firebrand leader of Congress Dipak Baij will contest election from Bastar constituency against BJP’s Baiduram Kashyap.
BJP, which has been retaining Bastar Lok Sabha seat since 1998 has fielded Baiduram Kashyap by replacing its sitting MP Dinesh Kashyap, son of former BJP MP late Baliram Kashyap from this seat. While Bastar Lok Sabha seat, which is reserved for Scheduled Tribe category, is likely to witness main contest between BJP and Congress, two other parties -Bahujan Samaj Party and Communist Party, too, have fielded their candidates Aaytu Ram Mandavi and Ramu Ram Maurya respectively from this seat.
Lok Sabha elections will be held in three phases for 11 seats in Chhattisgarh. Polling for 1st, 2nd and 3rd phase will be held on April 11, April 18 and April 23 respectively. Total 1,89,16,285 voters, including 94,38,463 women and 709 members of the third gender in Chhattisgarh can exercise their franchise in Lok Sabha elections. (UNI)