Raman Singh’s `Mr. Clean image’ helps BJP retain Chhattisgarh

December 8th, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Dec 8 (IANS) The ‘Mr. Clean’ image of the incumbent Chief Minister Raman Singh has done the trick for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it Monday regained the power in the state in the assembly elections.Celebrations broke out here at BJP state headquarters, Ekatm Parisar, late Monday afternoon after initially it looked as if the BJP would fall short of the magic figure of 46 required for a simple majority in the state assembly.

The Congress finally faltered in the race as its six seniors - state Congress president Dhanendra Sahu, working president Satyanarayan Sharma, Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma, deputy leader of the opposition Bhupesh Baghel and Arun Vora, son of Congress veteran Motilal Vora - suffered poll shocks.

Political analysts largely credit the BJP’s victory here to Raman Singh’s `Mr. Clean image’ and the Rs.8.37 billion rice scheme, a brainchild of Singh, launched early this year to provide 35 kg rice per month to 3.5 million poor families at Rs.3 per kg.

Singh summed up the BJP’s victory as “peoples’ approval of the BJP government schemes and development plans.”

A jubilant looking Singh, 56, told mediamen: “My main priority is to maintain flow of development in the state and ensure peace.”

But Congress spokesman Ramesh Varlyani said: “It’s time for the party to introspect with an open mind and heart.”

Political analyst Anil Vibhakar commented: “The clean image of Raman Singh and serious factionalism in Congress saved the BJP from poll blushes.”

The BJP’s newly elected legislators will hold a meeting here Tuesday, Dec 9, to formally elect Raman Singh as leader of the BJP legislature party.

In the outgoing state assembly, the BJP has 52 members, the Congress has 34 while the BSP and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have one seat each. Two seats were vacant.

As of Monday evening, the BJP was leading in 41 constituencies, and the Congress in 36. Of the 11 results declared, the BJP has won 8 and the Congress 3.

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