Congress struggles to pick candidate for Bastar

April 7th, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Raipur, April 7 (IANS) The faction-ridden Congress party in Chhattisgarh has been finding it tough to select its candidate for the Bastar Lok Sabha seat, reserved for scheduled tribes, for which a by-poll will be held May 8.

The by-election was necessitated by the death last month of incumbent Baliram Kashyap, a senior tribal leader of the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Congress sources say the state unit wants to field tribal leader and former Bastar MP Mahendra Karma for the seat, while a section led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi is pushing the candidature of Kawasi Lakhma.

Lakhma is the legislator of Konta, one of the eight assembly seats that form the insurgency-affected Bastar parliamentary constituency.

“Besides Karma and Lakhma, some other names have been suggested by various factions for the Bastar seat. We are analysing the winning capability of each individual before submitting a shortlisted panel of probables before the central leadership,” a state unit party leader told IANS.

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