The Bastar rally of the chief minister Raman Singh on Thursday touted as a response to Rahul Gandhi’s public meet on the same ground a week ago apparently didn't come close to the ruling party's expectation on the crowd response.
The BJP in Bastar zone was hard-pressed to ensure the event emerge as a mega show to give an apt response to the Congress vice-president who addressed the people from Lal Bagh ground in Jagdalpur on September 26. The ruling party expected around 70-80 thousand will attend it.
The rally, which turned out to be the last attempt by the chief minister before the imposition of model code of conduct to safeguard the party’s interest at Bastar, dedicated medical college to public and carried out bhoomi-pujan of various welfare and development works worth Rs. 253 crore.
The Bastar district BJP president Daddan Tiwari claimed that crowd swelled as the rally progressed and crossed the strength that attended Rahul’s rally. “We are excited with the turn-out, which indicates the party has bright chance to repeat its 2008 performance. We will form the government”, the BJP leader said. The BJP won 11 of the twelve seats in the tribal-dominated Bastar in 2008 elections that emerged crucial to form the government.
However the Congress called the event as a flop show. “The crowd response was poor and the BJP miserably failed in its effort to give any apt response to Rahul Gandhi”, affirmed Lakheswar Baghel, district chief of Bastar Congress. The women outnumbered the men in the gathering which apparently couldn't close to the party’s expectations.
Singh targeted the Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on inflation and reiterated the “superiority” of his food security act over the Centre’s act. While appealing the people of Bastar to offer all twelve seats of the region to BJP, Singh said: “We will expand the development initiatives four times than what you see today. There will be peace and development in the region”, he said.