BJP launches poll campaign in Chhattisgarh

March 15th, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, March 15 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has announced its candidates for the 11 parliamentary constituencies in Chhattisgarh, Sunday began canvassing even as the rival Congress is still finalising its nominees for the April 16 Lok Sabha polls.
“The party candidates have been asked to launch a high-voltage campaign in their constituencies from March 15 (Sunday). Besides addressing public meetings, they will focus on door-to-door visit,” Vishnudeo Sai, BJP state president, told IANS.

The parliamentary elections in the state will see a main contest between the Congress and the BJP, which cleared its candidates March 5.

But the Congress has so far announced nominees for only six seats and is yet to decide on the remaining five.

State’s top Congress leadership, including former chief minister Ajit Jogi, nine-time party MP Vidya Charan Shukla and state president Dhanendra Sahu, is camping in Delhi since last month to finalise the list of candidates.

Congress leader Satyanarayan Sharma said: “(The) party is in the final stage to announce candidates for the remaining five seats… the candidates will be announced within a day or two.”

“As soon as the party high-command clears the names, the candidates will begin canvassing,” said Sharma, who himself is bidding for the Raipur Lok Sabha seat after he lost the assembly polls in November from the Raipur Rural constituency.

In the 2004 parliamentary polls, the BJP won 10 seats while the Congress could manage only 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 a sting operation in the cash-for-questions scam.

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