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NCP-Cong Tug of war over candidate

A correspondent in Raipur | November 18, 2003 19:22 IST

Was he kidnapped or did he defect?

The question concerns a candidate from Bhanpuri (Bastar division), Lakhmu Ram Bharti, who was given a Nationalist Congress Party ticket to contest the November 20 assembly election in Chhattisgarh.

Lakhmu Ram was in the Congress till recently, when he defected to the NCP. On Tuesday morning, his friend and local NCP leader, Gajraj, filed a report at the Jagadalpur police station that Lakhmu Ram had been kidnapped by some Congress workers and was being held captive at Hotel Chidambara in Raipur.

Around 10 am, the Congresse called a press conference in Raipur and Lakhmu Ram was presented before the media and he declared he was returning to the Congress. He even called it a 'home coming.'

Compounding the confusion, the NCP said it would hold a press conference in the evening to prove that Lakhmu Ram was kidnapped by the Congress.

After the elections were declared in the state, there have been a series of defections in Chhattisgarh. A member of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party recently joined the Congress, then a minister from the ruling Congress crossed over to the NCP and now comes this tug of war over a candidate between the Congress and the NCP.


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