A triangular contest is on the cards in the Khairagarh bypoll, which is being dubbed as a semi-final ahead of the next year’s assembly poll in Chhattisgarh.
Khairagarh seat in Rajnandgaon district fell vacant following the death of sitting JCC (J) MLA Devvrat Singh.
The three-way contest is between Yashoda Verma from Congress, BJP’s Komal Janghel, and Narendra Soni, late Devwrat Singh’s brother-in-law, from JCC(J).
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP leader Prahlad Patel have campaigned for the candidate, while former chief minister Raman Singh released a 26-point charge sheet against the Bhupesh Baghel government, accusing it of failure on all fronts.
“Wherever Bhupesh Baghel went – Assam, UP, Punjab – the Congress lost heavily,” said Chief Minister Chouhan.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is leading the Congress campaign with the ruling party leaders calling the contest a semi-final. Mr Baghel took on BJP leaders declaring “Kaka is alive”.
“How will Mama (Shivraj Chouhan) face Kaka. Kaka is still alive. Can the BJP pay the amount of money we are paying farmers, poor? Can they tell us,” said Mr Baghel.
Polling will be held on April 12 and counting of votes will take place on April 16. There are as many as 2,11,540 voters and 291 polling stations.
The outcome will not have any bearing on the government in the state, but well set the mood for the assembly elections next year.
In the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, the Congress has 70 seats and the BJP 14. The JCCJ has three MLAs and the BSP two.