As many as 842 candidates,including nine Cabinet ministers,Assembly Speaker and the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly,are in the fray after the withdrawal of nominations ended on Monday for the second phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.
A total of 957 candidates were shortlisted after scrutiny,of which 115 candidates withdrew their names leaving 842 candidates in the fray for the second phase of the assembly polls,Joint Chief Electoral Officer D D Singh told reporters this evening.
Seventy-two constituencies of 16 districts of the state will go to polls in the second phase on November 19.
Altogether 985 candidates are in the fray for the upcoming two-phased poll as 143 candidates are in battle for the first phase of polls.
In the second phase,maximum number of 38 candidates are contesting from Raipur city south constituency where three EVMs will be set up for polling.
The second phase would test the fate of many senior leaders,including speaker Dharamlal Kaushik,Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar,School Education Minister Brijmohan Agrawal,Housing and Environment Minister Rajesh Munat,Water Resources Minister Ramvichar Netam and Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Hemchand Yadav,state President of BJP Ramsewak Paikra and the leader of Opposition Ravindra Choubey,wife of the former chief minister Ajit Jogi,Renu Jogi and several sitting MLAs.
A total of 18,004 polling stations have been set up for the second phase of polls,out of which 17,350 are primary booths,while 654 are auxiliary booths.
The first phase of poll for 18 constituencies of Naxal affected southern Chhattisgarh will be held on November 11.