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BJP fields a dozen ministers in Chhattisgarh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come out with all its guns blazing by fielding over a dozen union ministers and a couple of film stars in almost all the districts in Chhattisgarh.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2003 21:45 IST

In a last ditch bid to snatch power from the Jogi-ruled Congress government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come out with all its guns blazing by fielding over a dozen union ministers and a couple of film stars in almost all the districts in Chhattisgarh on the last day of campaigning on Saturday.

In a strategic move, the deputy prime minister, Lal Krishna Advani, took the rein of Bilaspur and Raipur divisions by addressing meetings at Bilaspur and Bhilai, both nerve points of two divisions, which controls 78 Assembly constituencies, out of the 90, while party president, Venkaiah Naidu and noted film actress, Hema Malini addressed a series of meetings in Khairagarh and Dongargarh, the citadel of the Congress thereby giving it the jitters. Both have also addressed meetings in Jashpur district, the region which is represented by tape tainted Dilip Singh Judeo to boost his flagging morale.

On the other hand, the union minister for Foreign Affairs, Yashwant Sinha, addressed several meetings in Raipur district. He was asked to coordinate all party workers and interact with prominent personalities in the area.

The party sent the union minister of state for Home, Swami Chinmayanand to sensitive Marwahi, and the Assembly constituency of the wily chief minister Ajit Jogi, to corner him. Chinmayanand was told to remain in the constituency till the elections were over.

A panicky Jogi, who had earlier declared he would not campaign in Marwahi, rushed to his constituency last evening and was camping there. The BJP game plan clicked. It succeeded in tying down Jogi to his constituency on the last day of campaigning.

When over a dozen union ministers and other senior party leaders are campaigning for BJP candidates in the state, the ruling Congress has miserably failed to match it on the last day. Not a single central leader was seen touring the state. Instead, the former Lok Sabha member and vice president of PCC, Pawan Diwan, was seen to address a couple of meetings in Jashpur and Sarguja areas on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the BJP strategists have decided to post either a senior leader or a union cabinet minister in each district to monitor the game plan of Jogi and ensure counter-checks. The union minister of state for Coal, Karia Munda will take care of Jashpur district, bordering Jharkhand while another tribal leader and union minister, Juel Uraon has been camping in Ambikapur.

Similarly, another union minister Sripad Naik was given the charge of Raigarh while union minister Vidyasagar will be in Dantewada. The union minister, Tapan Sikdar was given the job of Kanker district.

First Published: Nov 29, 2003 21:45 IST