Chhattisgarh BJP unhappy with Lok Sabha candidates’ list

March 6th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, March 6 (IANS) Discontent is brewing in the Chhattisgarh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with several leaders and party workers unhappy with the list of candidates for the 11 Lok Sabha seats.
Four new faces who were never in the race to contest the April 16 elections have been given party tickets. And two senior leaders - former union minister Dilip Singh Judeo and national vice president Karuna Shukla - have been given seats they were reluctant to contest from.

The four newcomers are Chandulal Sahu from Mahasamund, Saroj Pandey from Durg, Madhusudan Yadav from Rajnandgaon and Kamla Patle from Janjgir-Champa.

“The central leadership has stumped party cadres across the state by picking up new faces for four seats,” admitted a senior leader.

He was also surprised that Judeo had been chosen for Bilaspur though he had been keen on either Mahasamund or Korba.

And Shukla, who was hoping to contest from Bilaspur, has been allotted Korba.

There have been other surprises too.

The tribal community forms 32 percent of the state’s 20.08 million population. But the party has abandoned its tribal face Nandkumar Sai, who represented Surguja in the last Lok Sabha, and has chosen the low-profile Murari Lal Singh instead, said a disgruntled BJP worker.

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 a sting operation on the cash-for-questions scam.

The delimitation exercise has increased the number of general (unreserved) seats in the state from five to six. Seats reserved for the Scheduled Caste have been reduced to one from two. The state also has four seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.

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