The first phase of polling for the 2023 Assembly elections is set to take place in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. With 20 constituencies and a 90-member house, the state prepares for a significant electoral event split into two phases. Most seats are concentrated in Naxal-affected belts, including Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker, Kabeerdham, and Rajnandgaon.
The electoral landscape features prominent figures like former Chief Minister Raman Singh contesting from Rajnandgaon and State Minister Kawasi Lakhma from Konta.
In the 2018 elections, the Congress secured 17 of the 20 Phase 1 seats, while the BJP claimed 2 and Ajit Jogi’s party won 1 seat. This year, Congress replaced six sitting MLAs, introducing Savita Mandavi, the wife of late MLA Manoj Mandavi, in the Bahnupratappur seat.
According to the Election Commission of India, a total of 2,03,80,079 crore voters, including 19,839 service voters, will be able to exercise their franchise in the election to the 90-member assembly. Based on the data released by the poll body, there are also 1,60,955 voters with disabilities and 790 voters of any gender in the state. Chhattisgarh has 2,63,829 voters between the ages of 18 and 19. With 223 candidates vying for the 20 seats, the Election Commission has set up 5,304 voting booths for 40,78,681 voters, including 19,93,937 male and 20,84,675 female voters.
Notably, 13 of the 20 seats in this phase are reserved for SC/STs, reflecting the broader allocation of 29 seats for Scheduled Tribes and 10 for Scheduled Castes across the state.
To ensure a fair election, extensive security measures have been deployed, especially in Naxal-affected areas, with the Central Armed Police Forces reinforcing local authorities. Drones will monitor some polling centers.
The electoral process anticipates the counting of votes on December 3.