Major parties swing into poll mode in Chhattisgarh

Major parties swing into poll mode in Chhattisgarh

first_imgThe three major political parties in Chhattisgarh have swung into election mode with Assembly elections just 10 months away. The State is likely to go for polls in October-November this year along with Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In the 2013 elections, the difference in vote share between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress was a mere 0.75%. The stakes are higher this year as the State is likely to witness a three-cornered contest with the entry of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J). Mr. Jogi has already declared candidates for 20 of the 90 Assembly seats. Yogesh Tiwari, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) leader, said, “We have almost finalised our candidates for 15 more seats. Our leaders have already covered 75 Assembly segments during various yatras in the last few months. We are also appointing a Panna Prabhari [in-charge of voter list] in every Assembly segment.”The Congress recently appointed its election committee and reshuffled its State party committee. A tribal leader and a Dalit leader have been made the executive presidents of the State unit of the Congress and a tribal MLA has been named as the party’s deputy leader in the Assembly.In the 2013 elections, the Dalit-dominated Assembly segments tilted the outcome in BJP’s favour. This time, the Congress is eyeing Dalit votes and is pinning its hopes on its newly appointed AICC State in-charge P.L. Punia, a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh.Congress spokesperson Shailesh Trivedi said, “Mr. Punia has covered almost every district in the State. Bupesh Baghel [the State Congress chief] is also carrying out padyatras in the State.”The BJP sounded the poll bugle six months ago, with party national president Amit Shah asking party workers to focus on cornering 65 Assembly seats during his three-day tour of the State in June last year.Chief Minister Raman Singh also travelled to all the district of the State during his Jan Suraj campaign. A BJP leader said, “Our frontal machinery has already started work. Ministers have been asked to organise religious programmess and health care camps and to get in touch with local party workers.”A BJP Minister said, “With the entry of Ajit Jogi, political equations have changed. Mr. Punia has also activated the Congress machinery. We will also be up against 15 years of anti-incumbency. So this time, we have started election preparations early.”last_img

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