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Congress fields deceased MLA Manoj Mandavi’s wife in Chhattisgarh assembly bypoll

KANKER: The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday announced the candidature of Savitri Mandavi for the December 5 Bhanupratappur Assembly bypoll necessitated by the death of her husband and sitting MLA Manoj Mandavi.

A day earlier, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had nominated its former MLA Brahmanand Netam from the segment, reserved for Scheduled Tribes candidates, which falls in Kanker district in Maoist-hit Bastar division.

Manoj Mandavi was Deputy Speaker of the Chhattisgarh Assembly and a prominent tribal face of Congress in the region. He died of a heart attack on October 16.

”Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has approved the candidature of Savitri Mandavi for Bhanupratappur byelection,” said Sushil Anand Shukla, head of state Congress communication wing.

He said the Congress is confident the people of Bhanupratappur will elect Savitri Mandavi considering various works done by the state government in the last four years and the image of the late Manoj Mandavi, who had worked in the area for three decades.

The 56-year-old Savitri recently quit her job as a government school teacher. It seems the ruling party is eyeing to cash in on the image of the late Manoj Mandavi and the sympathy factor.

The last day for filing the nominations for the bypoll is November 17. Polling will be held on December 5 and votes will be counted on December 8.

Manoj Singh Mandavi (58) represented the Bhanupratappur assembly segment three times.

He had served as the minister of state for home and prisons during the Ajit Jogi-led Congress government in the state between 2000 and 2003.

The Congress knocked BJP out of power in the 2018 assembly polls by winning 68 of the total 90 seats. The BJP could win only 15 seats, while JCC (J) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) bagged 5 and 2 seats, respectively.

Subsequently, Congress’ tally improved by four as its candidates won byelections in as many seats. Currently, the BJP has 14 MLAs in the 90-member House, JCC(J) 3 and BSP 2.

Source: Press Trust of India

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