Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Oct 12: The electioneering is yet to pick up in the busy Bilaspur township and the adjoining assembly seats.
But all eyes will be on two mega election rallies to be addressed by BJP national president Amit Shah and BSP supremo Mayawati along with Chhattisgarh’s first Chief Ajit Jogi, whose nascent Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) is a BSP ally in next two days here.
Mr Shah’s rally on Friday will be held in the spacious Science College ground while JCC-BSP rally on Saturday will be organised at the local Khel Parisar. Both sides – the BJP and the JCC leadership are giving immense importance to the rallies as these mega events will mark the beginning of hectic election campaign.
Traditionally the polls in Chhattisgarh in general and especially in Bilaspur region are between the BJP and the Congress but the emergence of JCC and that too headed by a former Congressman and state’s first Chief Minister Ajit Jogi has changed the entire dynamics of the game this year.
JCC leader Amit Jogi, son of Ajit Jogi, told UNI here: “We are not just a party or a third force as media may try to project. We are the real force. The battle has already come in our favour due to the alliance with BSP led by Mayawati”.
JCC sources have hinted that in a day or two the alliance may get more smaller parties including the CPI under the umbrella alliance. However, it is not yet clear whether the seat adjustments would be made to accommodate these new parties.
For BJP the battle of Bilaspur district and the region is equally crucial. The district has seven seats and in 2013 – the BJP had won three seats. During the day, according to BJP leaders here, BJP chief Amit Shah will interact will meet booth-level workers of Bastar division at Jagdalpur and at Raipur for Raipur and Durg division on Saturday, October 13.
This is part of the marathon exercise planned for BJP National president to interact with a total of 23,632 booth-level workers directly. "Our party president will hold meeting at Ambikapur for Surguja division and at Bilaspur for Bilaspur division," a local BJP office bearer Kamal Kumar said.
The interactions with BJP foot soldiers for Bastar region is considered significant as in 2013 assembly polls, there was significant erosion in BJP support base and Congress had put up an impressive show picking up 8 seats out of 12 in the Bastar region.
The Congress vote share from 34 per cent in 2003 had leaped forward to 42 per cent in 2013 and this translated into BJP losing out 8 seat.
In Bastar region between the seven districts there are 12 crucial seats. BJP had won 9 of them in 2003 and the vote share was 41 per cent. This had improved to 11 in 2008 but came down to four in 2013 though the vote share had jumped to 44 per cent. In Bilaspur district, the Kota remains invincible for BJP as during last three assembly elections the seat has been won by Congress.
According to insiders in the saffron party camp – the RSS leaders including the likes of veteran Gopal Vyas have been working “silently” to win over the voter towards the saffron camp. Sources said even BJP chief Amit Shah has met senior RSS leaders in Chhattisgarh earlier and both sides have tried poll strategy to make impact especially among the young voters and also women.
In 2013, Kashi Ram Sahu was BJP nominee but the party does not rule out replacing him and the ticket this time may be given to a leader with RSS background – who has “worked sincerely for years staying away from mike, stage and garland”. (UNI)