Jagdalpur, Apr 9: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been retaining Chhattisgarh’s Bastar Lok Sabha (LS) seat through last consecutive elections, including one by-election, is facing tough fight from ruling Congress in the state.
The polling on this seat will be held in the first phase of LS elections on April 11. As many as seven candidates, including one from BSP and one from Communist Party, are in fray, but main contest is likely to be between Baiduram Kashyap of BJP and Deepak Baij of Congress.
Congress candidate Baij is a sitting MLA from Chitrakot Assembly seat falling under this parliamentary seat while BJP candidate Kashyap is former MLA. BJP has been winning this seat, reserved for scheduled tribe, since 1998.
Late Baliram Kashyap of BJP had won this seat for four consecutive terms. After his death in 2011, his son Dinesh Kashyap was elected from this seat on BJP's ticket. In 2014 general elections too, he registered victory on this seat. But this time he was not given ticket and Baiduram Kashyap has been fielded by the saffron party.
Congress holds seven out of eight assembly seats under Bastar LS constituency while, BJP has the only assembly seat of Dantewada.
Congress candidate Mr Baij was elected MLA for second time while, BJP candidate Kashyap faced defeat from him in 2013 assembly elections.