BJP retains Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-hit Bastar and Kanker seats
RAIPUR: Despite facing a rout from the Congress in the Vidhan
Sabha polls in the Naxal hit areas of the Bastar and Kanker constituencies, the
BJP managed to retain both the parliamentary seats. While it’s Bastar
candidate, Dinesh Kashyap, won with a comfortable margin of over 1.24 lakh
votes over Congress nominee, Deepak Karma, in Kanker sitting MLA, Vikram Usendi,
retained the seat for the party by defeating Phulo Devi Netam by 35,158 votes.
Interestingly, in both these constituencies, NOTA (None of the
Above) turned out to be the third choice of the voters with over 38,000 people
opting for it in Bastar and 31,917 in Kanker. Of the total 16 assembly seats
falling in these two constituencies, the Congress had won 11 in the assembly
In Bastar, the much-hyped AAP candidate, Soni Sori, a tribal
teacher who was granted permanent bail by the apex court in a Naxal related
case, managed to garner only 16,903 votes. Her tally was in fact even lesser
than the CPI candidate and her niece, Bimla Sori, who polled 33,883 votes.
While Dinesh Kashyap polled 50.11% of the total votes, the
Congress managed to secure 33.96%. The polling percentage of the AAP candidate
was merely 2.19%.
The sympathy factor, post Darbha killing of the Congress on May
25 last, which apparently helped the Congress win five of the eight assembly
segments falling in Bastar in the Vidhan Sabha polls, failed to work this time.
The party candidate, Deepak Karma, son of the slain leader and founder of Salva
Judum, Mahendra Karma, managed to secure 2,61,470 votes, as compared to BJP's
In Kanker, despite its decision to replace four times MP, Sohan
Potai, the BJP managed to retain the seat by fielding it's sitting Antagarh
MLA, Vikram Usendi. Usendi polled 45.74% of the total votes, as compared to
42.28% by his rival, Netam. The percentage of votes polled for NOTA was 3.13%
and by CPI candidate, Ramesh Gavde, was 2.30% (23,482). The AAP candidate,
Santosh Kumar Dhruv, managed to get only 10,606 votes.
The BJP had won from these two constituencies even in 2009 and
2004 Lok Sabha polls.