A government release said that cases against tribals across the seven districts of Bastar, as well as one additional district of Rajnandgaon which is deemed Maoist affected, were surveyed, and their present statuses in court were seen.
Sitting under a banyan tree in the scorching sun, Rajesh Choudhary of the village says the issue of Jat reservation is still on his mind but he does not believe there is a leader that has proved trustworthy. Not party, but leader.
The fight in Jhalawar Baran, bordering Kota in Rajasthan, is between Dushyant Singh, son of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, and Sharma, who left the BJP some years ago. The seat is a BJP bastion, with Raje winning it from 1989 to 2003, and Dushyant winning from 2004 to 2019.
After taking the controversial decision to drop all 10 sitting MPs, and replace them with relative unknowns, BJP has campaigned on one factor alone: PM Modi. Many within Congress admit that “every seat has become a dogfight” — and “uncomfortably difficult”.
The votes that went to the JCCJ are also important, because they are concentrated around four seats in the next phase, each with a sizeable SC population — Bilaspur, Janjgir, Korba, and some parts of Raigarh.
Alleging that the government put in Rs 35,000 crore in bank accounts of certain businessmen, Rahul said, “There was a question in my head: the money was going in one direction, can we change the direction?"
The three seats of Kanker, Rajnandgaon, and Mahasamund that went to the polls on Thursday are all prestige battles between the BJP and the Congress, and each is currently held by the former, which won 10 of 11 seats in 2014.
The police said that one of those killed, identified as Varghese, is a senior cadre of the Malangir Area Committee and carried a reward of 5 lakh. He was also likely to be involved in the killing of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and his security men.
Villagers say they may consider boycotting the Lok Sabha election if they are not given assurances soon. Voting for the Surguja seat, which has been represented by the BJP continuously since 2004, is scheduled for April 23.
In the evening, as a polling party took off from Orccha in Narayanpur, a small action team of Maoists attacked security personnel, the Chhattisgarh police said. In police retaliation, an alleged Maoist was killed.
Jagargunda’s 4,000 residents, in the heart of Sukma, a symbol of the struggle between Maoists and the state where neither wants to cede control, lives in a cage. And with Lok Sabha elections in Bastar on April 11, its politics, as it has been for 15 years, is one of exclusion.