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B Vijay Murty , Hindustan Times
RAJNANDGAON, November 10, 2013
Enthused by exit poll reports by various media houses and agencies giving his government a clear cut majority for the third time, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said the party would win all 18 seats going to polls in the first phase on Monday. “While there is no competition for us in the six seats of Rajnandgaon, we are also winning Konta,” the chief minister told HT at his residence in Rajnandgaon after the campaigning for the first phase ended. 

Konta is the only seat among the 12 assembly constituencies of Bastar the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had lost in the 2008 elections.

A traditional BJP bastion, Raman Singh is the party’s candidate from the Rajnandgaon constituency seeking re-election for a second term. There are in all 185,000 voters in his constituency, who are a mix of various castes and communities. Of the 231 polling booths, 133 booths are in the urban areas, while the remaining are in rural areas.

Septuagenarian Leela Ram Bhojwani, former Rajnandgaon legislator and ex-minister, in charge of the CM’s constituency’s campaign committee, feels Singh would win with a margin of no less than 50,000 votes. Alka Mudaliyar, Congress candidate, he says, is no match at all.

Rajnandgaon, he says, has witnessed all-round development in the last five years. “We gifted the people of Rajnandgaon  an AstroTurf  stadium, an auditorium, a soon to be completed medical college and several high and senior secondary schools, all in last five years.” The CM shrugged when asked about the Maoist threat to his party workers in Bastar. “All arrangements are in place for peaceful polls,” he said.