(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) The exit polls have predicted a close fight between the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Chhattisgarh. In Rajnandgaon constituency, BJP's Raman Singh, the incumbent Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and a six-term MLA, is facing a strong challenge from Giris Devangan, who is considered to be a close confidant of CM Baghel.
Singh has been the representative for Rajnandgaon since 2008, but he will have a difficult campaign this time.
Devangan, the Chairman of the State Mineral Development Corporation, is a popular figure in the region and is seen as a strong candidate.
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He has served as Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister for the longest tenure, held the position from the inaugural Assembly election in 2003 until 2018.
Singh began his political journey during college, and achieved his first electoral victory as a councillor in 1983. After two terms as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), he successfully contested and won his initial Lok Sabha election in 1999. In 2003, the BJP selected Singh to lead the party in the state's first Assembly poll, prompting his resignation as a Union minister to return to Chhattisgarh.
What happened in 2018?
In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress fielded Karuna Shukla, a former BJP leader, against Singh. Shukla lost to Singh by a margin of 16,933 votes.
Dr Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon of Chhattisgarh, won the seat with 80589 votes. He defeated Indian National Congress' Karuna Shukla who had polled 63656 votes. The winning margin was 16933 votes.
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Key candidates in fray in 2023
The main candidates in the fray for the upcoming Chhattisgarh Assembly Election are Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (Congress) from Patan, former Chief Minister Raman Singh (BJP) from Rajnandgaon, Deputy Chief Minister TS Singh Deo (Congress) from Ambikapur, Durg MP Vijay Baghel (BJP) from Patan, among others.
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