Chhattisgarh rebels pose challenge to BJP, CongressNovember 7th, 2008 - 1:56 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, Nov 7 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance are both facing stiff challenges from the rebels in the run-up to the Chhattisgarh elections later this month.Rebel candidates are challenging the BJP in nine seats, while the Congress-NCP alliance has to deal with rebel candidates 1n 12 seats, despite party seniors trying to persuade the rebel candidates to withdraw their nominations.
Virendra Pandey, a Jan Sangh leader and then a founder member of the BJP, has challenged the party’s official nominee, Industry Minister Rajesh Munat, at Raipur City West while former ministers from the Congress - Manoj Mandwai and Ganguram Baghel - have challenged the party candidates at Bhanupratappur and Arang segments respectively.
The Congress-NCP combine faces rebels at Arang, Vaishali Nagar, Kurud, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Dongargarh, Jashpur, Kunkuri, Chandrapur, Sakti, Manendragarh and Basna.
BJP faces rebels in Raipur City West, Khairagarh, Keshkal, Chitrakot, Jagdalpur, Nawagarh, Bemetara, Katghora and Chandrapur.
The Congress is contesting 87 seats in the 90-member assembly and has left three seats to its alliance partner NCP. The BJP is contesting all the 90 seats on its own.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate for Raipur City West has withdrawn his candidature in favour of the BJP rebel candidate Pandey, who turned down a request of Chief Minister Raman Singh to pull out of the contest.
The Congress has suspended eight rebels with immediate effect for six years. Those suspended include former minister Mandwai.
The state goes to polls in two phases - Nov 14 and 20.
In the first phase, 39 segments will go to polls while remaining 51 seats will see elections in the second and the final phase.