Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018: Key issues in front of next government
As per a 2014 survey, Chhattisgarh is the poorest state as over 47 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. The marginalised tribal population is increasingly being pushed into a state of poverty. Several tribal people have found it easier to migrate to big cities and work as labour but this has further reduced the per capita income, says a report.
Chhattisgarh is the most affected state by left-wing extremism. The presence of Naxalite or Maoist insurgency has also hurt growth and is the reason why living standards remain so widely disparate from one district to another. The basic facilities including better connectivity to other villages, good healthcare and education have been difficult to access. The government’s attempts to build roads in different areas for better connectivity with districts have often met with violence.
According to the state government's estimate, agriculture is the main source of income for almost 80 per cent of its population. Yet, agriculture contributes merely 18 per cent to the state’s gross domestic product. Government data says at least 1,500 farmers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh between 2015 and 2017. A hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) and promise of 100 per cent paddy crop procurement have been among the chief demands by farmers in the state.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s employment tracker, the state’s unemployment rate is the sixth highest in the country. Unemployment is one of the key issue in Chhattisgarh as campaign issues before any election, not just in states but also on a country-wide basis. Employment generation is also key to Chhattisgarh’s Naxalism problem as it can help pacify extremism.
Despite high-levels of poverty and unemployment, the Raman Singh government has remained untarnished by any major scams for the majority of its tenure. But in past three years, three major scams have created a dent in BJP government clean image in the state. State government's name has cropped up in AugustaWestland chopper case and the Public Distribution Scheme scam, while CM Raman Singh's son has been named in Panama Papers, which revealed information about people who have off-shore bank accounts in Panama - a tax-haven. Opposition parties have used these allegations of corruption to their advantage during campaigning for this year's polls.
Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 poll schedule