Among the 18 Assembly seats where voting in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh pools took place Monday, the Congress was defending 12 to the ruling BJP’s 6. Many of these seats, however, have had a history of voting for different parties from one election to the next. In 2008, it was the BJP that had dominated this area, winning 15 seats to the Congress’s 3. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP led in 17 of the 18 Assembly segments. These 18 segments fall within 3 Lok Sabha seats and the BJP won all 3.
Six of these 18 seats are part of Rajnandgaon district while the other 12 are part of Bastar region. Among the 6 Rajnandgaon seats, the Congress had won 4 in the 2013 and the BJP the other 2. In 2008, the BJP had led 4-2. The Lok Sabha constituency, also called Rajnandgaon, has 8 Assembly segments, including these 6, and the BJP led in all 6 segments in 2014. The other 2 Assembly seats will vote in the second phase.
The BJP had almost swept the Bastar seats in 2008; before the Congress led 8-4 in 2013. Eight of these 12 seats are segments of Bastar Lok Sabha constituency. In 2008, the BJP had been 7-1 ahead; in 2013, the Congress went 5-3 ahead; in 2014, the BJP led all 8 segments. The other 4 seats are segments of Kanker Lok Sabha seat (which has 4 other segments). In 2008, the BJP won all 4; in 2013, the Congress won 3 to the BJP’s 1.