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Chhattisgarh Assembly polls: A prized possession both BJP, Congress want to keep

Bhopal: In the second phase of polls scheduled for November 17 for 70 seats in Chhattisgarh, both Congress and BJP are banking heavily on their ‘guarantees’ vs ‘promises’ trope.

However, the tug of war ranging from religious symbolism, dwelling, livelihood issues of backward castes, predominantly occupy the centrestage during election campaigns.

To counter BJP’s guarantee of Rs 3100/quintal MSP on dhan (paddy), the Congress promised to increase it up to 3200/MSP to farmers.

Earlier, the promise by Congress to increase MSP on paddy, along with farm loan waiver, had helped them dislodge the Raman Singh-led BJP government in 2018.

The farmers’ were not paid Rs 200/quintal bonus of 2 years as promised by BJP government earlier, hence, they were shown the exit door, told sources.

Out of the 90 Assembly seats, Congress had won 71 seats (68 initially and 2 bypolls), while BJP was reduced to just 14, and four were won by by Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and BSP.

Central plains of Chhattisgarh have an average annual rainfall of around 1207 mm, total cultivated area (all crops) of the state is 47.75 lakh hectares, which is 34 per cent of the state’s total geographical area.

Raipur, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa, Kabirdham, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Dhamtari, and Mahasamund are districts that fall in the central plains.

Mahanadi is the primary source of water for irrigation and domestic use. Chhattisgarh encompasses the country’s widest waterfalls, caves, lush green forest, ancient monuments, rare wildlife, temples, Buddhist sites, and hill plateaus.

Due to favourable conditions, paddy yield maximises to 25 to 30 quintal/acre. A local journalist said, migration (from village to city) is not an issue here due to prosperity even amongst marginalised farming community.

The state government is also sensitive towards farmers’ including addressing the basic infrastructure/development issues like road network, power, electricity, fertilizers etc.

There is a series of mushrooming rice mills, poha mills, and power plants across Chhattisgarh and central plains in particular, added Jitendra.

The large scale steel plants in cities such as Bilaspur, Raipur, Bhilai, Korba and the newly established Naragnar steel plant (Bastar) provides employment to thousands.

The Assembly seats falling in central and northern part of Chhattisgarh and contested by senior leader including CM Bhupesh Baghel, Raman Singh, deputy CM T S Singh Deo, Brijmohan Agrawal, Rajesh Moodat, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Ravindra Chowbe, Ajay Chandrakar, will be keenly watched.

(Published 09 November 2023, 11:55 IST)

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