Richa Jogi locked in a tough triangular contest in Akaltara

Chhattisgarh Times Raipur: Richa Jogi— a new entrant in politics— contesting her maiden poll from Akaltara constituency as BSP candidate is locked in a tough triangular contest with Congress candidate Chunnilal Sahu and BJP candidate Saurabh Singh.
Akaltara constituency in Janjgir-Champa district is dominated by SC-ST and OBC voters. Former Chief Minister and founder of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi and BSP supremo Mayawati are believed to have high stakes in Akaltara as BSP is believed to have considerable influence in the constituency. This rural constituency has 2, 02,784 voters, including 98,503 females and one transgender voter.
BSP had previously won this seat in 2008. After Janata Congress led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi cobbled a pre-poll alliance with BSP, Richa Jogi joined Mayawati party to contest for the Akaltara seat, which went to BSP under the seat-sharing formula.
The constituency is known for making and breaking new equations in almost every election as major political parties had always fielded new faces. There was no speculation of Richa contesting as a BSP candidate from Akaltara. It all happened after the alliance of JCC and BSP. Former chief minister Ajit Jogi and BSP supremo Mayawati had addressed meetings in Alaktara to canvass support for Richa Jogi.
Congress has fielded its sitting MLA of Akaltara Chunnilal Sahu to retain the seat for the party. It is speculated that Sahu won the last 2013 assembly elections due to the support he got from SC-ST groups. However, Sahu finds himself in a tough triangular contest with BSP’s Richa Jogi and Saurabh Singh of the BJP.
In the last elections, Congress candidate Chunnilal Sahu won the seat with a margin of 21,693 votes defeating his nearest BJP rival Dinesh Singh. However, the outcome of the contest has become unpredictable with BSP fielding a strong candidate, who also has the strong support of the former chief minister Ajit Jogi.
BJP’s is hoping that Jogi-BSP candidate would eat into the traditional Congress votes and such a division of votes will benefit the BJP candidate Saurabh Singh. Saurabh Singh had earlier won the Akaltara seat as a BSP candidate in 2008 elections but later joined the BJP.
Besides, Chief Minister Raman Singh has visited Akaltara to canvass support for his party candidate and Congress roped in one of its star campaigner Raj Babbar to woo the voters Chunnilal Sahu.
Last 3 election summary of the constituency:
Winner: Chunnilal Sahu (Congress) 69,355 votes/50.67% votes
Runner-up: Dinesh Singh (BJP) 47,662 votes/34.82% votes
Margin votes: 21,693
Winner: Saurabh Singh (BSP) 37,393 votes/33.11% votes
Runner-up: Chunnilal Sahu (Congress) 34,505 votes/30.56% votes
Margin votes: 2,888
Winner: Ramadhar (Congress) 37,368 votes/31.71% votes
Runner-up: Chhataram (BJP) 35,938 votes/30.50% votes
Margin votes: 1,430

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