Raman’s throne shaky, warns intelligence report

August 10 2013

The BJP might fail to score a hat-trick in Chhattisgarh if Raman Singh government’s intelligence report is to be believed. Sources say that according to a recent intelligence report, the BJP might end up with just 30-32 seats in the 90-seat assembly, thanks to a 10 per cent projected fall in the party’s vote share.
Under Raman Singh’s leadership, the party had won the 2003 and 2008 assembly polls. In 2008, with 40 per cent votes, BJP had won 50 seats while Congress won 38 seats with 36 per cent votes.

The Congress appears set to project Charan Das Mahant as the chief ministerial candidate and this could help the party wrest power from the BJP. The Raman Singh government has been on the backfoot on the issue of Naxal menace in the state, particularly after the dreaded red attack a few months ago in which top state Congress leaders, Mahendra Karma, Nand Kumar Patel and VC Shukla were assassinated.

However, the Congress’ dream of wresting power from the BJP could turn into a nightmare if former chief minister Ajit Jogi plays a spoilsport. Sources say that the Congress high command had summoned Jogi to Delhi recently and told him in clear terms that he will not be projected as the next chief minister. He was also told that his son Amit Jogi will not be entertained either because of corruption complaints against him.

However, his wife Renu could be considered for a Cabinet post in the state if the Congress returned to power.
Sources said Jogi was warned in no uncertain terms of strong disciplinary action if he chose to sabotage the party’s prospects.

On the face of it, Jogi has agreed to work for the party’s victory. However, insiders claim that Mahant’s projection has upset him and he has complained separately to two BSP MPs about this. BSP polled 6 per cent votes in 2008. If Jogi chooses to collaborate with BSP, the chief minister would be more than happy to help him.

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