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People want us back: CM

Pradip Kumar Maitra , Hindustan Times  RAIPUR, November 19, 2013
First Published: 22:40 IST(19/11/2013) | Last Updated: 16:21 IST(10/12/2013)

Ministers facing corruption charges from the opposition may not get a seat in the cabinet if the BJP retains power in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh said on Tuesday.

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On a more aggressive note, he said the opposition had failed to come out with proof of the corruption they were alleging. “It is very easy to make allegations against a minister or the chief minister, but where is the proof,” he said, citing the example the opposition had been claiming of a `20,000 crore scam in the energy sector when the state energy budget was `6,000 crore.

“They (Congress) have become desperate for power and are making wild allegations without verifying facts and figures,” he said.

Singh, who is running for a third consecutive term as chief minister, said that if the BJP formed the government, he would “think twice” before inducting tainted ministers in his cabinet once again.

For Singh, the BJP’s poster boy in Chhattisgarh, Election 2013 is a “do or die” contest.
 
And despite the opposition hullabaloo over non-issues, Singh tries to put up a brave face refuting any anti-incumbency factor and claimed that his party would do better than the 2008 elections. In 2008, the BJP got 49 seats in the 90-member House.

“I held election meetings at 102 places in 72 constituencies in my 42-day campaign and I am hopeful of  scoring a hat-trick,” he said before leaving for Kawardha, his hometown for casting his vote on Tuesday afternoon.

He asserted the people of the state would  give his party another five-year term to accelerate the pace of economic development. “We have put development in top gear in the past 10 years. The people want it to continue,” he said. “We have given a model to the country on food security by providing rice and salt at a nominal price long ago.”
 
But he also admitted that he could not do much for tribals in the state. “My first priority would be for an overall development package for Bastar and Surguja, if my party comes to power,” he said.

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