The ruling Congress party has so far announced the names of 83 candidates for the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly. While the party released a list of 30 candidates on October 15, it announced 53 names today. The party has dropped several sitting MLAs ahead of the crucial two-phase assembly elections. While the party had dropped 8 sitting MLAs in the first list, it dropped 10 sitting MLAs in the second list as well.
Senior Congress leaders have earlier said that the party had decided to drop around 20-22 sitting MLAs considering the winnability factor. It said that the party has taken the decision after finding that while the MLAs won in 2018 riding on the Congress wave, they are on a sticky wicket and may lose polls if fielded again as per the multiple internal surveys conducted by the party. Factors like anti-incumbency and non-performance also played a key role in the decisions to drop the MLAs.
Another factor that played a role in the decision is the ongoing Enforcement Directorate probe against some MLAs. MLA Chandradev Prasad Rai has been replaced from Bilaigarh (SC) as he was named in the chargesheet in the coal levy scam. While Devendra Yadav was also named, he has managed to retain his ticket from Bhilai Nagar.
Of the 18 MLAs who have been dropped include former IAS officer Shishupal Shori, Mamta Chandrakar, Chhanni Chandu Sahu, Devati Karma (replaced by her son Chavindra Mahendra Karma), Chandradev Prasad Rai, Anita Sharma, Satyanarayan Sharma, Rekhchand Jain, Vinay Jaiswal, Premsay Sing Tekam, Brihaspati Singh, Chintamani Maharaj, Chakradhar Sidar and Mohit Kerketta.
The Congress has fielded all ten Ministers of CM Bhupesh Baghel’s cabinet including his deputy T.S. Singh Deo and Assembly speaker Charan Das Mahant.