The third phase of polling on April 23 in Chhattisgarh will mark the end of the Lok Sabha elections in the state. Total 23 candidates will fight in seven Lok Sabha seats, namely Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Korba, Janjgir-Champa (SC), Surguja (ST) and Raigarh (ST). Earlier, phase 1 of the elections were held in Naxal hit Bastar on April 11 and the phase 2 of the Lok Sabha elections were held in Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Kanker on April 18.
Congress and BJP are the two major political parties in Chhattisgarh. Congress has fielded Atal Shrivastav from Bilaspur Lok Sabha constituency which is a BJP stronghold and has been held by the party since 1996. Arun Saw is the BJP candidate from Bilaspur.
Congress' Pratima Chandrakar will be challenging BJP's Vijay Bhagel of the Kurmi community in the Durg Lok Sabha seat. Durg is the only Lok Sabha seat which the Congress had won in the state in the 2014 general elections.
In the Raipur seat, the BJP has fielded Sunil Soni, incumbent vice president of the state unit of the party. Soni is pitted against Congress' Pramod Dubey, the incumbent mayor of the Raipur Municipal Corporation.
In the tribal-dominated Raigarh seat, the BJP has fielded a fresh face in Gomtee Sai who will take on the Congress' sitting party MLA Laljeet Singh Rathiya.
In Surguja, the BJP has picked former MLA and minister Renuka Singh. She is pitted against Congress' Khelsai Singh. In Korba seat, the Congress has fielded Jyotsana Mahant, while the BJP has fielded Jyotinand Dubey.
The Janjgir-Champa seat will witness a triangular fight among the BJP's Guharam Ajgale, Ravi Bhardwaj of the Congress and Dauram Ratnakar of the BSP.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won 10 of the 11 seats with a vote share of 49.7 per cent. The Indian National Congress, with a vote share of 39.1 per cent, had bagged the only seat of Durg.
There are nearly 1.9 crore voters in the state, including over 94.77 lakh men, 94.4 lakh women and 709 of the third gender.
Meanwhile, other states that would be voting in phase III of the Lok Sabha election 2019 are - Assam (4 parliamentary constituencies), Bihar (5), Gujarat (26), Goa (2), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Karnataka (14), Kerala (20), Maharashtra (14), Odisha (6), UP (10), West Bengal (5), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1) and Daman and Diu (1). The counting of the votes will be done collectively across the nation on May 23, 2019.
Edited By: Udit Verma