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Jogi may appeal to voters from hospital bed
Ira Saxena from Raipur/PTI |
April 13, 2004 19:13 IST
In the absence of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi who is recuperating in Mumbai after sustaining serious injuries in a road accident, his campaign managers are planning to make him record an appeal from his hospital bed in Mumbai and distribute the video cassette in the constituency.
Jogi is pitted against Vidya Charan Shukla, who is now in the Bharatiya Janata Party, in the election to the Mahasamund Lok Sabha seat.
The contest was expected to be a tough one. Jogi failed to retain the state for the Congress in the last assembly election but is nevertheless considered the party's most popular leader in the region and its best bet against Shukla who has won the seat seven times without losing once.
The accident will restrict Jogi to a hospital for at least a few weeks and brought his campaign to a virtual standstill. But on the flip side is believed to have generated a sympathy wave for him. The Congress hopes it will be strong enough to see Jogi through.
Former state home minister Nand Kumar Patel has been put in charge of the election campaign to ensure that Jogi's efforts do no go in vain. Also, for the first time, state Congress president Moti Lal Vora would campaign in Mahasamund.
At the same time, party workers in Mahasamund have requested the high command to organise a public meeting of Priyanka Gandhi in the constituency.
Jogi's campaign managers are desperately trying to get him to the constituency at least for a day. "This is because the entire campaign of the Congress is concentrated around Jogi," his chief election manager Anil Tah told PTI in Mahasamund. The election is on April 20.
On Tuesday, a set of audio and video cassettes were prepared from the last speech Jogi had delivered at Bagbahra town, a day before his accident on Sunday.
These cassettes have been distributed in large numbers among the workers and voters for airing across the constituency.
Meanwhile, Jogi's wife and son are expected to arrive in Raipur. His wife, Renu, is a government doctor and cannot take part in the campaign but son, Amit, might. Incidentally, the latter's activities were believed to be partially responsible for Jogi's downfall in the assembly election and had kept a low profile since then.