Chhattisgarh's Durg district takes centre stage ahead of Lok Sabha polls - Hindustan Times
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Chhattisgarh's Durg district takes centre stage ahead of Lok Sabha polls

PTI |
Apr 07, 2024 03:28 PM IST

Chhattisgarh's Durg district takes centre stage ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Raipur, Chhattisgarh's Durg district, a bustling metropolis which played a key role in the state's economic and educational growth, has turned into a political hotspot ever since the declaration of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

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Four candidates of the opposition Congress, including former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, and two of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for the Lok Sabha elections hail from Durg district, bringing it to the centre stage ahead of the polls.

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Durg district was founded in 1906 after being carved out from Raipur.

In 1973, the district was divided and a separate Rajnandgaon district came into existence.

Durg was bifurcated again in 2012 and two new districts - Bemetara and Balod - came into existence.

With the establishment of the Bhilai Steel Plant, a flagship unit of the Steel Authority of India Limited , in 1955 in Durg district, it has grown rapidly and become a hub of economic activity, attracting people from all over the country.

After the formation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, Bhilai city developed as an educational hub with the setting up of technical institutes and coaching centres for engineering and medical entrance exams.

With the announcement of candidates by the BJP and Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the political significance of the district has become a point of discussion among experts in the state.

Congress's candidate Bhupesh Baghel from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat, Devendra Yadav from Bilaspur seat, Tamradhwaj Sahu from Mahasamund seat and Rajendra Sahu from Durg seat, all hail from the Durg district.

Former chief minister Baghel is an incumbent MLA from Patan assembly seat and Yadav is the sitting legislator Bhilai Nagar seat .

Tamradhwaj Sahu was the home minister in the previous Congress government in Chhattisgarh and lost the assembly polls from Durg Rural seat.

Similarly, BJP candidates Vijay Baghel from Durg Lok Sabha seat and Saroj Pandey from Korba seat are also natives of Durg district.

Vijay Baghel is the sitting MP from Durg, which Pandey earlier represented in the Lok Sabha from 2009-14.

"The district has been politically relevant since long as it had been the home turf of late political stalwarts like Chandulal Chandrakar and Motilal Vora of the Congress and BJP's Tarachand Sahu ," political analyst R Krishna Das told PTI on Sunday.

After the formation of the Congress government in Chhattisgarh in 2018, Durg hogged limelight as a political hub with then CM Bhupesh Baghel and his then two cabinet colleagues Tamradhwaj Sahu and Guru Rudra Kumar elected from different assembly constituencies of the same district, he said.

Durg is also a revenue division comprising seven districts - Durg, Rajnandgaon, Balod, Bemetara, Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki, Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandei and Kabirdham.

Three other leaders, Mohammad Akbar, Ravindra Choubey and Anila Bhedia, who were ministers in the previous Congress government, belonged to different districts in Durg revenue division, Das noted.

Even Raman Singh, who has served as Chhattisgarh's chief minister thrice, has been elected four times from Rajnandgaon seat which comes under Durg revenue division, he pointed out.

Singh is currently speaker of the Chhattisgarh assembly.

The focus of the ruling BJP and opposition Congress on Durg while choosing nominees for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls shows the district's crucial role in the state politics, Das said.

Prof DN Sharma, a renowned educationist from Bhilai, said, "Durg district has been politically significant for a long time. Motilal Vora from the district had served as chief minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh and governor of Uttar Pradesh."

One of the best things is that Durg has never seen communal violence as leaders from the district never did politics on communal lines, Sharma said.

The upcoming Lok Sabha polls have once again brought Durg to centre stage in the state politics as the two main parties have shown faith in leaders from the district in the selection of candidates, he added.

Elections to the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh will be held in three phases on April 19, and May 7, and votes will be counted on June 4.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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