Poll countdown begins, and birthday boy Raman Singh has a party

October 15th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Oct 15 (IANS) The countdown to elections in Chhattisgarh began Wednesday, a fortuitious day for Chief Minister Raman Singh who was also celebrating his 56th birthday and took the opportunity to kickstart the campaign by holding a party for the people. Raman Singh threw open his home to the public — but also had to contend with anxious ticket claimants knocking at his door early morning.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister’s 56th birthday acquired the inevitable political hue as it came a day after the Election Commission announced two-phase assembly polls for the Maoist-hit state on Nov 14 and 20. As the countdown to the elections began, Raman Singh found dozens of tickets claimants at his door with bouquet in hand to wish him “a great career”, said his aides.

This was the first time that Raman Singh was holding an open house. Even high-profile visitors had complained of multi-layer frisking by security personnel to enter the premises of the chief minister’s official residence. Not Wednesday when there was easy access right up his chamber.

According to his aides, Raman Singh also plans to celebrate his birthday with people in his home district in Kawardha and in Rajnandgaon district in the evening. He is likely to contest from either of the two assembly seats.

The low profile Raman Singh shot into the limelight in December 2003 when the BJP picked him to head its first government in the state, carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.

The ayurveda doctor turned politician is now getting ready to helm the party’s efforts to recapture power. And he has begun with his birthday.

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