Women candidates in Chhattisgarh put up tough fightApril 8th, 2009 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, April 8 (IANS) The five women candidates fielded by Chhattisgrah’s main parties - three by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and two by the Congress - are posing a stiff challenge to their male rivals for the Lok Sabha seats.
“The five women candidates of the BJP and Congress fold have been giving sleepless nights to their rivals. I can’t say they are going to win easily but surely they have great chances,” political analyst Vinod Singh told IANS.
The BJP has fielded its national vice-president and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla from Korba, Saroj Pandey from Durg and Kamla Patle from the state’s lone Scheduled Caste reserved seat Janjgir-Champa.
The Congress has pitted Renu Jogi, wife of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, against the BJP’s flamboyant leader and former union minister Dilip Singh Judeo from Bilaspur. It has fielded Phulo Devi Netam from the Scheduled Tribe reserved seat Kanker against the BJP’s sitting MP Sohan Potai.
“I have been winning the Kanker seat since 1998 and am now aiming for the fourth straight victory, but this time the battle looks tougher than the past three times,” said Potai.
“For the first time, the women candidates of the two main parties are giving a tough fight to the rivals. I cannot say much about the BJP candidates’ chances but both the nominees of the Congress hold a clear edge over their rivals in Bilaspur and Kanker,” said Congress general secretary Ramesh Varlyani.
BJP’s Shukla is locked in a straight battle with her old rival and state Congress working president Charandas Mahant, while Pandey faces a triangular contest with Congress’ Pradeep Choubey and sitting MP Tarachand Sahu, who was suspended from the BJP in January for anti-party activities.
“No one can deny that I hold the edge but I never underestimate my rivals. The achievements of the state’s BJP government are helping me in a big way to convince voters,” said Shukla.
“The UPA government’s failure on terrorism and rising prices of essential commodities have been proving a boon for me. I hope to sail through easily,” said Pandey.
The BJP leader’s rival admitted that she is putting up a formidable fight.
“Its a tough contest for me this time,” said Choubey.
“The five women have a fair chance to make it to the Lok Sabha. They have an edge over their rivals for now but the last 48 hours before polling will decide a lot,” said political analyst Anil Vibhakar.
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