Chhattisgarh braces for poll violence
In Chhattisgarh, the stage is set for a fierce battle among the three Js ? Jogi, Judeo and the jungle raj of Naxalites, who are determined to impose a poll boycott.india Updated: Dec 01, 2003 00:12 IST
In Chhattisgarh, the stage is set for a fierce battle among the three Js — Jogi, Judeo and the jungle raj of Naxalites, who are determined to impose a poll boycott.
Going by past records, violent incidents can be expected in the Bastar region during the polls. The Naxalites of the Peoples' War (PW) want to make the region a ‘liberated’ zone.
On Sunday morning, the PW attacked a police party near Kanker. A fierce battle was on till late Sunday. On Saturday, the group attacked a convoy of Rajrendra Pambhoi, the sitting Congress legislator from Bijapur. Seven policemen were killed in the attack.
In the the political arena — where wits and wile are the weapons — the fate of about two dozen ministers will be decided on Monday.
This battle has taken a bizarre turn with both the Congress and the BJP throwing aside developmental issues during the campaign and launching personal blitzkriegs on the other's leaders.
The BJP criticised chief minister Ajit Jogi on all fronts and even lampooned his family, especially his son Amit. The NCP also did not lag behind in the Jogi-bashing.
But Jogi had the last laugh when the BJP's star campaigner and projected chief minister Dilip Singh Judeo was allegedly caught on videotape receiving a bribe. The Raja of Jashpur had earlier vowed that he would cut off his moustache if he failed to defeat the wily Jogi. But, caught with his hands in the till, he is not even in a position to twirl his moustache. Jogi said: "Isne apni nak to katvaee, apni party ki bhi nak katva lee."
The BJP then launched a vicious campaign, targeting Jogi's son. But the damage was already done.
An interesting battle is on the cards in Marwahi in Bilaspur where, for the first time in the history of parliamentary democracy, a chief minister and a leader of the Opposition will cross swords. Jogi is locked in a triangular contest with Opposition leader Nand Kumar Sai (BJP) and former State Women Commission chairperson and NCP candidate Hemwant Porte.
Though Jogi's win is a formality, he camped in Marwahi for two days before the polls.