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Cong may replace candidate in Chhattisgarh to challenge Judeo

The Congress party is looking at changing its Chattisgarh candidate, Ashish Singh Thakur, after party cadres described fielding Thakur against BJP's candidate Dilip Judeo as a " blunder".

india Updated: Mar 18, 2009 16:35 IST

The Congress party is considering replacing Ashish Singh Thakur, its candidate for Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur seat with a better known face, after party cadres said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, Dilip Singh Judeo had been offered a virtual walkover.

Sources in the Congress said that the party was giving serious thought to the opinion of party leaders of Bilaspur parliamentary constituency who described the party's decision to field Thakur against former union minister Judeo as a "blunder".

"There is a thought at the higher level to replace the Bilaspur candidate after several senior cadres said they don't even know who Thakur is," a source in the state Congress unit told IANS on Wednesday.

The source said, "Discussions are on in Delhi to make some changes in the state on more than one seat. But everybody in the party in Chhattisgarh is saying the Congress central leadership has put an ant (Thakur) to challenge an elephant (Judeo)."

Congress has so far announced 10 candidates out of state's total 11 seats and held up announcement for Raipur seat where the ruling BJP has fielded sitting MP and former union minister, Ramesh Bais. The state goes to polls on April 16.

In the 2004 parliamentary polls, the BJP won 10 seats while the Congress bagged one. The BJP's strength was later reduced to nine with the Congress winning the Rajnandgaon by-election, after BJP MP Pradeep Gandhi was expelled following a sting operation.

First Published: Mar 18, 2009 16:18 IST