Raipur, October 19: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will on Thursday address two rallies in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division, where polling will be held in the first phase on November 7, a BJP leader said. This will be Shah's second visit to the Congress-ruled state after the announcement of election schedule for the 90-member assembly.

The former BJP president, a key poll strategist of the party, earlier addressed an election rally in Rajnandgaon on October 16. Voting in the state will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17. Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2023: From Vikas Upadhyay, Mahant Ram Sundar Das to Arun Vora, List of Key Candidates of Congress and Their Constituencies.

Shah will arrive at the Maa Danteshwari Airport in Jagdalpur from New Delhi shortly after noon, said the BJP leader. The Union minister will attend a public meeting and nomination rally at Lalbagh Maidan in Jagdalpur, he said. Shah will later leave for Kondagaon where he will attend another election meeting and nomination rally at Police Ground, he said.

Both Jagdalpur and Kondagaon fall under the Naxal-affected Bastar division of the state. In the first phase, polling will be held in 20 assembly segments - Konta, Bijapur, Dantewada, Chitrakot, Jagdalpur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Keshkal, Kanker, Bhanupratappur, Antagarh, Mohla-Manpur, Khujji, Dongargaon, Rajnandgaon, Dongargarh, Khairagarh, Kawardha and Pandariya. Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2023: AAP Writes To Election Commission To Reschedule Vidhan Sabha Polls Date Due To Chhath.

The remaining 70 seats will be covered in the second phase. The ruling Congress has so far declared candidates for 83 out of the 90 seats. The opposition BJP has announced its candidates for 86 seats, including all 20 going to polls in the first phase.

The Congress registered a landslide victory in the 2018 polls, winning 68 of the 90 seats. The BJP, which had ruled the state for 15 years (2003-2018), was reduced to 5 seats, while the JCC (J) and the BSP bagged 5 and 2 seats, respectively. The current strength of the Congress in the assembly is 71.