New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday released its list of another six candidates for the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018. The grand-old party also announced that late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s niece Karuna Shukla will be contesting against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh from Rajnandangaon. The party had earlier announced 12 candidates for the Chhattisgarh polls. Also Read - Vajpayee 2nd Death Anniversary: India Will Always Remember You, PM Modi Pays Homage

Former BJP member Karuna Shukla has previously represented Janjgir constituency. She parted ways with the saffron party in 2013. She contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Bilaspur constituency but was defeated by BJP’s Lakhan Lal Sahu. Also Read - Former Union Minister Arjun Charan Sethi Passes Away at 79 in Odisha

The Congress had on Thursday released its first list of 12 candidates for the Chhattisgarh assembly elections. Eleven of the 12 candidates announced are in seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes. The party has fielded seven sitting legislators and five fresh faces for the 12 of the 18 seats that go to the polls for the first phase on November 12. Also Read - National Technology Day: PM Modi Remembers the Historic Pokhran Test, Hails Indian Scientists & Engineers

Earlier on Sunday, the Samajwadi Party (SP) had released the names of three candidates for the first phase and six names for the second phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.

In the first phase, the party has fielded Santosh Suman, Bimlesh Dubey and Chabindra Verma from Bijapur, Jagdalpur, and Dantewada respectively. While Navin Gupta, Yogendra  Bhoi, Jiban Singh Yadav, Mukesh Lahare, Amarnath Agarwal and Subendra Singh Yadav will contest elections from Raipur West, Basna, Akaltara, Pamgarh, Korba and Vaishali Nagar in the second phase.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too announced 77 candidates out of a total of 90 Assembly seats in Chhattisgarh.

In other reports, former Chhattisgarh chief minister and leader of Janata Congress (J) Ajit Jogi will not be contesting in the forthcoming state Assembly elections, he said. The decision was announced following a meeting of the ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) leaders belonging to Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Congress (J) and and the CPI. Jogi, however, said that he is available for campaigning for the “grand alliance”.

The first phase of polling is spread across Maoist-affected districts of Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Sukma, Kondagaon, Kanker, Narayanpur and Rajnandgaon. Elections in Chhattisgarh are scheduled in two phases — on November 12 and November 20