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BJP will showcase Modi, Raman Singh in state polls next year: Chhattisgarh CM

Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said having BJP governments in both Raipur and New Delhi is “a big positive.”

india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 11:16 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Chhattisgarh CM,Raman Singh
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh. Chhattisgarh is expected to go to the polls in November 2018 along with two other large states ruled by the BJP’s regional satraps – Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan(Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party will showcase the achievements of the Narendra Modi government’s four years at the Centre as well as those in the three terms of the Raman Singh regime in Chhattisgarh when it makes a pitch for retaining power in the state elections next year.

Since the National Democratic Alliance came to power in May 2014, the BJP has fought state elections primarily projecting Modi’s leadership at the Centre as its USP but these have been largely smaller states or those not ruled by a BJP chief minister at the time of going to the polls.

Chhattisgarh is expected to go to the polls in November 2018 along with two other large states ruled by the BJP’s regional satraps – Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“ 2018 (election) will be fought on completely new issues. The Congress was in power at the Centre when we fought the last assembly election (in 2013). This time we have the Modi government in Delhi. What Modi ji has done (at the Centre) and we have done (in the state) will together be pitched in the election,” the Chhattisgarh chief minister, who is the BJP’s longest-serving chief minister in power, told the Hindustan Times.

Asked about how his government would tackle the anti-incumbency of three terms, Singh said having BJP governments in both Raipur and New Delhi is “a big positive.”

“We will tell the people about how the Prime Minister’s quick decision making has accelerated the state’s development,” Singh said.

In the last two assembly polls, in which the BJP managed to retain power under Singh, the party projected the state government’s achievements including the model public distribution and food grain procurement systems.

Though the BJP managed to retain power in the state, its vote share has been shrinking vis-à-vis its rival, the Congress. In 2013, the ruling party secured 41% of the votes polled and the Congress 40.2%, bringing down the gap between them to less than one percent.

The BJP has already launched itself into election mode, with party president Amit Shah’s model of fighting elections.

“We have launched mission 65+ and started working in the areas where we are weak,” Singh said. “We are focusing on the booth level. Even as the chief minister, I am responsible for a particular booth in my constituency (Rajnandgaon),” he said.

Singh claimed the problem of Maoist violence has been “significantly confined” to pockets in the state including the worst-hit districts of Sukma and Dantewada. Ruling out use of air power against Maoists he said, “We cannot fire at our own people … Naxals are known to use women and children as human shields.”

“The ultimate weapon against Naxalism is development ... We are laying a network of roads for which projects worth Rs 25,000 crore are currently on,” Singh said.

Claiming significant improvement in the state’s social development indices, the Chhattisgarh CM said infant mortality rate has come down in the state from 441 in 2003 to 221 now.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 11:13 IST