Rajnandgaon 15 April : It may not be smooth sailing for the BJP to retain Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat for third time as it is facing tough challenge from Congress. More than BJP candidate, the political prestige of former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh is at stake in this seat. BJP has fielded Santosh Pandey from this seat by denying ticket to sitting MP Abhishek Singh, who is son of former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh whereas Congress fielded former MLA Bholaram Sahu from this
seat keeping in mind the caste equations.
Congress candidates won six out of eight assembly constituencies under this parliamentary seat in assembly elections held in November last year. BJP won one assembly seat while one assembly seat was won by Janta Congress. Dr Raman Singh had won Rajnandgaon assembly seat. Devvrat Singh of Janta Congress was elected as MLA from one seat under this parliamentary constituency. Despite denial of ticket to his son, Dr Singh has pulled all his stops in campaigning for this seat. His son Abhishek (sitting MP) too is campaigning for BJP in this constituency. On the other hand, Md Akbar, Minister in state government is campaigning for Congress. Akbar was elected as MLA from Kawardha seat under this parliamentary seat by record margin of about 60 thousand votes.
Considering the results of assembly elections, Congress seems to be dominating on this parliamentary seat. Apart from its own six MLAs, Congress is getting open support from Janta Congress MLA Devvrat Singh. Janta Congress is not contesting parliamentary elections; rather it is backing BSP. But Devvrat Singh is openly supporting Congress. Meanwhile enthusiasm among BJP workers seems to have diminished after BJP suffered defeat in assembly election and ousted from power. (UNI)