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BJP banking on new faces in Chhattisgarh

india Updated: Nov 13, 2008 10:28 IST

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With the Congress not projecting a chief ministerial candidate in Chhattisgarh, the strategy could win more votes for the party this time while the ruling BJP tries to overcome the anti-incumbency factor by bringing in new faces.

Veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister late Shyamacharan Shukla's home constituency Rajim is no exception where his son is locked in a battle with a local youth leader fielded by BJP in the once Congress bastion.

The constituency goes to polls on November 20 in the second phase of the elections. People had in the last election voted here primarily on anti-Ajit Jogi plank and the Congress' policy of not projecting any Chief Minister could well work to the party's advantage, say observers.

Votes of the Sahu community, a deciding factor in the constituency, had last time gone en block to BJP although they had been traditionally voting for Congress.

In a goodbye to the "sitting getting the ticket" formulae, BJP struck off MLA Chandulal Sahu, who had won this seat against Shukla with a margin of around 12 thousand votes last time, from the candidates' list.

The party instead chose to trust an independent Santosh Bhartiya to attract young voters, which have a large presence in the constituency.

The party hopes to cash in on the easy approachability of the youth leader, who had once unsuccessfuly fought the election against the father of Amitesh Shukla.

The gentleman image of the state Chief Minister Raman Singh could add as a back-up for Upadhyaye.