The Congress has announced its candidates for five out of the total 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh, giving a chance to three of its sitting MLAs. The names of candidates for Surguja, Bastar, Raigarh and Kanker seats, reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Janjgir-Champa, which is allocated to a Scheduled Caste (SCs) candidate, were declared late Saturday night.
Prominent tribal leader Khelsai Singh, currently an MLA from Premnagar Assembly seat, has been nominated from Surguja Lok Sabha constituency. Singh, a four-time MLA, earlier represented the Surguja Lok Sabha seat thrice in 1991, 1996 and 1999. Another tribal leader Dipak Baij, who is a legislator from Chitrakot Assembly seat, will contest from Bastar Lok Sabha constituency.
Also, Dharamjaigarh seat MLA Laljeet Singh Rathiya has been fielded from Raigarh Lok Sabha constituency. His father Chanesh Ram Rathiya had been a Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh before Chhattisgarh was carved out of it. Besides, the Congress has fielded Biresh Thakur from Kanker Lok Sabha seat. He is currently a member of the Kanker zila panchayat. His father Satyanarayan Singh Thakur and grandfather Ratan Singh Thakur had also earlier served as Congress MLAs in MP.
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Former Congress MP Parasram Bhardwaj’s son Ravi Bhardwaj will contest from Janjgir-Champa (SC) Lok Sabha seat. “All the five candidates are active in their regions. The way Congress unseated the BJP in last year’s Assembly polls, it will also win all the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” state Congress spokesperson R P Singh told PTI.
The party is yet to announced its candidates for the remaining six general category Lok Sabha seats – Raipur, Mahasamund, Rajnandgaon, Bilaspur, Korba and Durg. In the 2014 general elections, the BJP won 10 out of the 11 seats in the state. Tamradhwaj Sahu was the lone Congress candidate who won from Durg parliamentary seat.
The BJP is yet to announce its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, to be held in three phases in the state on April 11, 18 and 23.
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Source: Financial Express