Chhattisgarh’s lone Congress MP lobbying for ministerial berth

May 23rd, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Raipur, May 23 (IANS) Congress’ lone Lok Sabha MP in Chhattisgarh Charandas Mahant is lobbying hard in New Delhi to get a ministerial berth in the Manmohan Singh government, party sources said here Saturday.
Mahant, who is also the working president of the party’s state unit, defeated ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s national vice president and niece of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Karuna Shukla, by 21,000 votes in the newly-formed Korba constituency. The Congress managed to win just one of the state’ 11 seats.

“Mahant is exploiting all his political contacts in New Delhi and projecting himself a champion of Congress in Chhattisgarh as he won the lone seat for the party in the state where the Congress is out of power since December 2003,” a top source in the party told IANS.

“This is the third time Mahant has made it to the Lok Sabha. His close associates are trying to convince the party central leadership that the Congress will bounce back in the state if he is accommodated in the government. In the previous Congress-led government, the state’s lone Lok Sabha MP Ajit Jogi too was left out from the ministry and Chhattisgarh had no representation in the central government,” the source said.

In 2004 Lok Sabha polls, former chief minister Jogi was the lone winner for the Congress from Mahasamund seat. The party increased its tally to two in April 2007 by winning Rajnandgaon seat in a by-poll.

But the source added: “A strong section in the state unit, who belong to the anti-Mahant camp, are equally doing their best to ensure he is left out. Mahant’s opponents are pitching for one of the two party’s senior leaders and Rajya Sabha MPs Motilal Vora and Mohsina Kidwai.”

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