Chhattisgarh Congress clueless about chief ministerial candidate

October 16th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Oct 16 (IANS) Congress workers, nomination claimants and district chiefs have told the state leaders in Chhattisgarh that a section of voters of their respective areas have set a condition to vote for their party - “Reveal the name of your chief ministerial candidate”. Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made clear that it will fight the November polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, the voters have been wanting to know from the Congress its chief ministerial candidate too so that they can make up their minds.

Chhattisgarh goes to polls in two phases - Nov 14 and 20 - to elect a 90 member state assembly. In the first phase, 39 assembly segments will go to polls while 51 seats will see election in the second phase.

“It’s a very puzzling question tossed up by voters. Of course, they should have right to know the Congress CM (chief minister) candidate so that they can have a better choice between the two,” a Congress district president, requesting anonymity, told IANS.

“But how can I convince them as even my state level leaders are not in a position to answer it,” the leader said, adding “it’s not a query by voters of one or two assembly segments, it’s coming from across the state”.

A senior state leader said: “Though it’s not a tradition in the Congress to go to polls with a decided name of the party’s chief ministerial candidate but it matters a lot. It probably swings 2-3 percent votes in favour and also helps party candidates to face voters confidently.”

Party officials claim that at least six leaders are in the race for the chief minister’s post if the party is voted to power. The leaders are former chief minister Ajit Jogi, nine time Congress MP Vidyacharan Shukla, four-time Congress MP Arvind Netam, state president Dhanendra Sahu, working president Charandas Mahant and All India Congress Committee treasurer Motilal Vora.

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