Chhattisgarh chief minister faces flak for lavish birthday bash

October 16th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 16 (IANS) As assembly polls countdown began in Chhattisgarh, the opposition Congress Thursday hit out at Chief Minister Raman Singh for his lavish birthday party the previous night at drought-hit Rajnandgaon area where a feast was hosted for 50,000 people.At least seven people were injured Wednesday night in a stampede that broke out when the people attending the CM’s birthday function at Rajnandgaon were asked to proceed for dinner.

“It was a lavish political feast with an eye on polls rather than a birthday party. A huge public money was spent Wednesday at Rajnandgaon for hosting the feast for about 50,000 people. A kavi sammelan (poets’ meet) was also held,” Ramesh Varlyani, Congress state spokesperson, told IANS.

Singh hosted a grand dinner at Mandi complex, Rajnandgaon town, about 75 km from here, besides holding an impressive function at his home town Kawardha to celebrate his 56th birthday.

The Election Commission has set Nov 14 and 20 as the dates for a two-phased assembly polls for the mineral-rich state that has total 90 seats.

Political analysts say Singh celebrated his birthday at Rajnandgaon and Kawardha assembly segments by inviting thousands of people as he is likely to pick up one of these two assembly seats to contest the November polls.

Varlyani said: “The Congress will complain against Raman Singh to the Election Commission for hosting a feast for 50,000 persons by misusing government money and machinery.”

“It’s surprising that CM chose an area, Rajnandgaon, which was declared drought hit Oct 13 by the chief minister himself at a cabinet meeting and suspended loan recovery from locals,” the Congress leader said.

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