BJP fields Komal Janghel again, JCC-J picks scion

Rolling out a social engineering formula, the BJP in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday fielded former MLA and senior OBC leader Komal Janghel for the Khairagarh assembly byelection.

Janghel, like Yashoda Verma of the Congress, belongs to the numerically powerful Lodhi caste.

The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) announced that its candidate will be Narendra Soni, the son-in-law of the scion of the Khairagarh royal family.

The byelection was necessitated by the death of JCC-J MLA Devvrat Singh of the erstwhile royal family of Khairagarh in November last year.

“The BJP’s central election committee has approved the candidature of Janghel,” a BJP spokesperson said.

Janghel, 61, won the Khairagarh assembly seat twice — in a byelection in 2007 and the next year. He lost in 2013 and 2018.

Janghel lost in 2018 to Devvrat Singh by just 870 votes.

The ruling Congress on Tuesday announced the candidature of Yashoda Verma.

According to JCC-J, Soni is a lawyer and married to Rashmi Devi Singh, the youngest sister of Devvrat Singh, and was a trusted adviser to the late MLA.

“Soni, who is from a middle class family, started his political career as President of the Khairagarh College Students Union,” the party said in a statement.

The last day of filing the nominations is March 24. Polling will be held on April 12 and votes will be counted on April 16.