BJP ahead in 10 of Chhattisgarh’s 11 seats (Lead)May 16th, 2009 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, May 16 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in 10 out of Chhattisgarh’s 11 Lok Sabha seats as votes were being counted Saturday. The state’s ruling party is looking to repeat its performance in the 2004 parliamentary polls.
By noon, after four hours of vote counting, the BJP established leads in Bastar, Kanker, Raipur, Rajnandgaon, Bilaspur, Surguja, Raigarh, Janjgir, Durg and Mahasamund. It was trailing in Korba, where party nominee Karuna Shukla, niece of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was behind Congress state working president Charandas Mahant by about 12,000 votes.
Congress’ Renu Jogi, wife of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, was trailing behind BJP’s flamboyant leader and former union minister Dilip Singh Judeo in Bilaspur after the third round of counting.
In the 2004 parliamentary polls, the BJP won 10 seats while the Congress bagged one. The BJP’s strength was later reduced to nine with the Congress winning the Rajnandgaon by-election after BJP MP Pradeep Gandhi was expelled following the cash-for-query scam, where a sting operation caught MPs accepting money to ask questions in parliament.
The BJP has established a comfortable lead in Bastar, Kanker, Raipur and Bilaspur while the party is leading by less than 5,000 votes in other seats. The BJP is leading just by 500 votes in Durg seat over Independent candidate Tarachand Sahu, whom the party expelled in January for anti-party activities.
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