ANI Photo | Bastar Lok Sabha Constituency: BJP’s Mahesh Kashyap to take on Congress’ Kawasi Lakhma

Bastar Lok Sabha constituency in Chhattisgarh, afflicted by Naxal influence, will go to the polls in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 19.
The Bastar constituency, deemed crucial among the state’s 11 Lok Sabha seats, is predominantly inhabited by tribal communities. Currently represented by incumbent MP Deepak Baij of Congress, who secured victory on the party ticket in 2019.
The BJP has fielded Mahesh Kashyap from Bastar, whereas the Congress nominated its senior tribal leader and former minister Kawasi Lakhma to contest the Bastar (ST) seat in Chhattisgarh, replacing its sitting MP Deepak Baij, who is also the president of the state Congress unit.
In the 2019 elections, Deepak Baij of the Congress party emerged victorious in Bastar, securing a notable mandate with 402,527 votes and 44.1. per cent of votes.
Baidu Ram Kashyap of the BJP garnered 363,545 votes, resulting in a victory margin of 38982 votes.
Earlier on April 13, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Bastar and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“You’ll be surprised to know that 22 people in the country have the same wealth as the 70 crore people in the country. PM Modi helps those 22 people all day long. Unemployment is spreading, people will tell you in every state that the main issues are unemployment, inflation and participation. Have you ever seen the media talk about unemployment, inflation and participation? They’ll show you, PM Modi, sometimes taking a flight, going deep into the ocean, and offering prayer in a temple,” he added.

A Congress candidate from the Lok Sabha seat, Kawasi Lakhma, said that the Nehru-Gandhi family has given a lot to Bastar.
“The Nehru-Gandhi family has given a lot to Bastar. This is the reason people here are happy to see Rahul Gandhi. After his visit here, our win is ensured…Sai (CM Vishnu Deo Sai) will not remain CM after Lok Sabha elections as they (BJP) are losing on all seats in the state,” he said.
On April 8, the Bharatiya Janata Party kicked off the party’s election campaign in Chhattisgarh, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Bastar.
The BJP, which has a stronghold in Chhattisgarh, won 9 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha, while the Indian National Congress (INC) was limited to only 2 seats.
In the 2014 election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 10 seats, while the INC only managed to win one seat.
The 11 parliamentary constituencies of Chhattisgarh will go to Lok Sabha polls in three phases; April 19, 26 and May 7. The counting of votes will be done on June 4

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