Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa and Raigarh are some of the districts in Chhattisgarh which witness mass exodus of families in search of employment every year. Masturi and Bilha assembly constituencies where Congress won in the last assembly elections also witness migration in large numbers.

According to the political analysts, despite having a stronghold in these constituencies, the migration of families may take a heavy toll on the Congress’ vote bank.

Migration is high during the month of October-November in these regions and it continues till monsoons. Due to good rail and road connectivity, Bilaspur has become the main destination from where these people migrate to nearby states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Though there are no official figures to keep record of how many people migrate every year from these regions, the unofficial data suggests roughly 50,000-60,000 people from Bilaspur move every year in search of work. The sale of tickets from Bilaspur railway station can also be considered to roughly estimate the numbers.

According to a senior railway official, around seven lakh tickets are sold every month in Bilaspur. These figures rise to roughly eight lakhs between October and March.

Deepak Pandey, a labor official in Bilaspur, said, “It is true that people are migrating to other states in search of work but the numbers have seen a decline in the recent past due to a number of programmes being run by the state government.”

The Congress is highly dependent on the votes of this class. As Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa and Raigarh go to poll on April 24, it would be significant to see how far the issue of migration in these regions affects the electoral prospects of the Congress.


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