‘BSP to play kingmaker in Chhattisgarh’November 8th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, Nov 8 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) claims it has eroded the base of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Chhattisgarh and that the party will play the role of a kingmaker after the state assembly elections this month. State BSP president Dauram Ratnakar told IANS Saturday: “The BSP will play the role of a kingmaker as the state will have a hung assembly.”
The state goes to polls for 39 seats Nov 14 and 51 seats Nov 20. The results will be declared Dec 8.
“In the past five years, the BSP has developed a good network in the state’s interiors, mainly the vast forested areas. The party’s tally of seats will be in double digits for the first time in Chhattisgarh,” Ratnakar told IANS.
During the previous elections in November 2003, the BSP won two seats reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. But later, legislator Lalsai Khunte’s election from the Malkharoda seat was declared null and void by the high court for hiding information about a case pending against him in his nomination papers.
“Jungle me hathi ghus gaya hai, ab BSP ko koi nahi rok sakta, (the elephant has made in-roads in the forests, now no one can stop the BSP),” Ratnakar said while referring to his party’s election symbol, the elephant.
Analysts here say the BSP has worked hard in recent years and has developed considerable base among Scheduled Tribes that form 32 percent of the state’s total 20.08 million population and Scheduled Castes who are 12 percent.
Out of the 90 seats in the state, 29 seats are reserved for ST and 10 for the SC candidates. The BSP is contesting all 90 seats.