|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
|October 30, 1998||
BJP to issue supplementary manifesto for Chhattisgarh
The Bharatiya Janata Party is making a determined attempt to capture the Chhattisgarh region of Madhya Pradesh.
The party hopes to win over voters with its promise to confer statehood on the region.
For this reason, the state unit of the party is even issuing a "supplementary" manifesto highlighting issues pertaining to Chhattisgarh's development.
Though major rivers like the Mahanadi, Indravati, Shivnath, Kello, Kharun and Arpa flow through Chhattisgarh, the region lacks irrigation facilities and proper water-management systems, BJP sources said. So the party will promise new irrigation schemes and development of a railway network in the region, besides schemes to provide employment.
Its state election committee has forwarded separately to the central election committee its recommendations for tickets for the 90 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh.
The Congress won 54 of these seats in 1993. But the BJP had an edge over it in the Lok Sabha elections of 1996 and 1998. In 1998, the BJP established a lead in two-thirds of the assembly segments, and bagged seven of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the region. The rest went to the Congress.
On the plus side for the BJP, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is in the saddle in New Delhi and his government has promised to carve out a separate Chhattisgarh state and create a new railway zone headquartered at Bilaspur.
The party's upbeat mood has been strengthened by the response to the 'Jai Chhattisgarh' rally in the three divisions of Raipur, Bilaspur, and Bastar and the prime minister's visit to Raipur and Bilaspur.
Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's visit to Bilaspur and senior politician Pramod Mahajan's visit to Raipur have activated the party machinery in the region.
On the other hand, former chief minister and senior Congress politician Motilal Vora, veteran Congressman Vidya Charan Shukla, and Congress spokesman and Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee working president Ajit Jogi have started a hectic tour of the region.
The Congress is banking on the performance of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and the failures of the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre.
Notwithstanding its public posture of not projecting anyone as its chief ministerial candidate, state BJP president Nand Kumar Sai, Union Minister Ramesh Bais, and state BJP Kisan Morcha (Farmers/' Front) chief Chandra Shekhar Sahu appear to be front-runners for the post of chief minister of Chhattisgarh.
On the Congress side, senior politician and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shyama Charan Shukla is likely to seek re-election from Rajim. Another strong contender, General Administration Minister Rajendra Prasad Shukla, will contest Kota.
But with land scam cases pending in court, former minister B R Yadav is unlikely to contest from Bilaspur.
Public Relations Minister Satyanarayan Sharma seems comfortable in his Mandirhsod constituency with the BJP finding it difficult to field a strong rival.
But the Congress is searching for suitable candidates to challenge BJP politicians Brijmohan Agrawal and Tarun Chatterjee who are well ensconced in Raipur City and Raipur Rural respectively.
Madhya Pradesh Bahujan Samaj Party chief Dauram Ratnakar is likely to seek re-election from Pamgarh. The Communist Party of India is concentrating on Konta and Dantewada.
Regional outfits like the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Chhattisgarh Samaj Party and Chhattisgarh Party are also likely to field their candidates.
SHOPPING HOME | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS
PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK