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Congress wins eight out of 12 seats in Chhattisgarh's Naxal belt

Monday, 9 December 2013 - 4:49pm IST Updated: Monday, 9 December 2013 - 4:50pm IST | Place: Raipur | Agency: PTI

A sympathy wave following this year's Naxal attack killing Chhattisgarh's top Congress leadership, has helped the party win eight of the 12 seats in the worst Left-wing extremism-affected Bastar region in the Assembly polls.

However, the party fell short of six seats in reaching the half-way mark in the 90-member Assembly and lost to BJP's Raman Singh who scored a hat-trick.

Bastar region, which has 12 seats spread over six districts and is considered as key to power in the state, had witnessed campaigning by heavyweights including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, among others.

BJP had won 11 seats from this region in the 2008 Assembly polls.

Devati Karma, the wife of slain Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who was killed in the Naxal attack on May 25 in Darbha Valley under Naxal-infested Sukma district of Bastar region, has won from Dantewada defeating BJP rival Bhimaram Mandavi by a margin of 5,987 votes. She secured 41,417 votes.

Her husband, along with 25 others, including Pradesh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, were killed in the attack. Former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, who was injured, had later succumbed to his wounds in a Gurgaon hospital.

Bastar constituency saw Lakeshwar Baghel emerging a winner unseating Subahoo Kashyap of BJP by a margin of 19,168 votes. The result in 2008 polls was exactly opposite with Kashyap defeating Baghel by a margin 1,201.

Konta seat was retained by sitting Congress MLA Lakhma Kawasi who defeated Dhani Ram Barse by a margin of 5,786 votes. Kawasi had barely managed to win it last time by 192 votes.

Congress also recorded its win in Chitrakot, Kanker, Bhanupratappur, Keshkal and Kondagaon Assembly constituencies.

BJP could manage to retain only four seats -- Antagarh, Jagdalpur, Bijapur and Narainpur -- where all the four sitting MLAs Vikram Usendi, Santosh Bafla, Mahesh Gadda and Kedar Nath Kashyap respectively won.

However, the winning margin for the four BJP candidates fell considerably this time.


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