By Satish Sahoo Raipur, Apr 6 UNI | 4 months ago

Bastar, a sprawling tribal-dominated Maoist stronghold in south Chhattisgarh, is giving the ruling BJP anxious moments.

The party has fielded its sitting MP Dinesh Kashyap, son of four-time MP Baliram Kashyap, in an effort to retain the seat for the sixth term in a row.

However, for Kashyap, his win in the May, 2011 by-polls from the constituency by a margin of nearly 90,000 votes against sitting Congress MLA Kawasi Lakhma, now looks like a dream with Congress nominee Deepak Karma -- son of slain party leader Mahendra Karma -- and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Soni Sori making the fight a triangular one and tough.

Amidst Naxals' poll boycott call this highly sensitive tribal constituency with 12,94,546 voters, including 6,62,989 females and 6,31,557 males, goes to polls in the first of the three-phase parliamentary elections in the state slated for April 10. Voting will be held in the rest 10 Lok Sabha seats on April 17 and 24.

According to political pundits, the constituency is expected to witness a close fight between the BJP and Congress this time as the electoral scenario had underwent a complete change after last year's Assembly elections when Congress made inroads in the tribal constituency that shares its borders with Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

(Posted on 06-04-2014)