Voting for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh elections is being held on Monday, and the second phase will take place on November 20. As the first phase covers areas where the Maoists have a stronghold, large numbers of security personnel have been deployed to ensure that voters are able to cast their votes peacefully.
In the first phase, 18 of the state’s 90 constituencies go to the polls – 12 from the Bastar region and six from Rajnandgaon district. Fate in the remaining 72 seats will be sealed on November 20. Despite the Naxal insurgency, Chhattisgarh’s elections have always been tightly contested, with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party being the two major players.
The Wire looks back at the state’s political history and the different factors at play.