Lok Sabha polls: Congress hoping to turn tide in Chhattisgarh, BJP looking at whitewash
Zee Media Bureau
Raipur: The BJP would be hoping to ride on the so-called Modi wave and win the last batch of seven Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh that are scheduled to go to polls in the final phase on Thursday.
Union minister Charandas Mahant and BJP state unit president Vishnu Deo Sai are among prominent candidates whose fate will be sealed tomorrow in EVM machines.
The polling will be held for Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa (SC), Raigarh (ST), Surguja and Korba constituencies wherein 1,18,10,256 voters are expected to decide the fate of 153 candidates including fifteen women.
Mahant, the sitting MP of Congress from Korba seat and Union Minister of state for Agriculture and Food Processing, will be facing BJP`s Banshilal Mahto in a tough contest.
This seat came into existence in 2008 and the first Lok Sabha election there was held there in the next year.
Korba was the only seat Congress had won in 2009 wherein the BJP lapped up the remaining ten. BJP would be hoping that the good governance plank of Chief Minsiter Raman Singh will help them in wresting this lone saet from the grand old party.
In 2009, Mahant had defeated BJP candidate and niece of former prime minister Karuna Shukla by a margin of 41,400 votes. Shukla has since defected to Congress.
Korba`s neighbouring Raigarh (ST) seat is also in the spotlight for a direct fight between BJP`s state unit chief and sitting MP Vishnu Deo Sai and Congress` Aarti Singh.
Sai had previously defeated Hridayaram Rathiya of Congress by a margin of 55,848 votes from this seat.
A total of 14,474 polling booths are set up across the seven constituencies where 71,679 polling employees are involved, Kujur said, adding 3,283 booths among them are critical.
The polling timing in these constituencies is from 7 am to 6 pm, he said.
For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system will be used in Raipur seat, which will enable voters to see their votes which are cast, the CEO said.
"As soon as the voter casts his vote, the VVPAT will show a small slip in a glass covered screen with the symbol and the candidate he has voted for in a form of a small ballot paper, which after 3 to 4 seconds would automatically fall into an attached closed box," he explained.
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