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Candidate list under wraps in Chhattisgarh as both BJP, Congress fear revolt, Candidates list for chhattisgarh , BJP, Chhttisgarh, Raman Singh, Chhattisgarh assembly election 2014.

Candidate list under wraps in Chhattisgarh as both BJP, Congress fear revolt.


RAIPUR: Scared of revolt in the ranks ahead of polls, both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh are now "playing safe" by delaying announcement of their list of candidates for the November assembly polls.

BJP is apparently terrified over the possibility of rebels jumping into the fray as it plans to deny tickets to at least 15 sitting legislators, including a few ministers, and to introduce new faces in majority of the 40 constituencies, which it lost in the 2008 polls.

The saffron party is also likely to ask some of their sitting MPs to contest assembly polls and deny ticket to few sitting MLAs, promising them Lok Sabha tickets.

Trying to overcome infighting within the party, Congress too is frightened and is delaying its list of candidates though the party had been claiming it would declare names of candidates at least two months before polls.

Both parties have a reason to worry. In the 2008 polls, rebels from both parties had no other option but to contest alone. This time, Chhattisgarh Swabhiman Manch (CSM), a regional outfit, is flexing muscle to jump into the fray and it is already part of the 'third front' comprising number of smaller parties.

Manch has already made it clear it would not hesitate to welcome leaders from other parties with winning prospects. CSM leaders indicated they had kept options open in at least 25 seats for this purpose.

Initially, BJP maintained it would not seek applications from prospective aspirants. Later, it changed the strategy and decided to carry out an exercise to seek opinion from the party's leader's workers. This was apparently done to give them an opportunity to express their opinion on the party forum so that they did not embarrass the party in poll season. BJP organisational secretary Saudan Singh, chief minister Raman Singh and BJP national general secretary Jagat Prakash Nadda would take the final call on the list of BJP candidates.

In the Congress, the scene has shifted to Delhi where state Congress leaders are working and re-working on various formulae for distribution of tickets by keeping all ginger groups happy. Party sources said the declaration of list for the first phase of polls could come only at the last moment to avoid dissent. Besides, a formula reportedly put forth by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for giving party tickets has put all the warring factions in a tizzy.

Party circles said Rahul Gandhi had come up with a formula to deny ticket to those in whose constituencies the Congress had trailed by more than 1,000 votes in the last Lok Sabha polls. Under this formula, legislators from all warring factions are being affected.

Some legislators of state PCC camp and supporters of former chief minister Ajit Jogi may not get tickets, hence all groups have joined hands and are planning to call on Rahul to impress upon him to reconsider this formula. These leaders are likely to explain to Gandhi the circumstances under which their margin was reduced and also assure to work together for the victory of these candidates.

State Congress chief Dr Charandas Mahant went on record saying that MLAs, who do not fit the Rahul bill, have winning prospects. In the first phase, consensus is yet to emerge on candidates for seven or eight seats. Nominations for the first phase of polls in 18 of 90 constituencies are scheduled to begin on November 18.


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