Congress top leadership to campaign in Chhattisgarh

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 10:40

New Delhi: Top Congress leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, will campaign in poll-bound Chhattisgarh this week, said party sources on Wednesday.

The Assembly polls in the state are scheduled in two phases - November 11 and November 19. Results would be announced on December 08.

While Sonia Gandhi would address rallies in Kondagaon on November 07, Rahul will speak in Kanker on November 08. The Prime Minister will campaign for the party in the state capital Raipur on November 09, said the sources.

Rahul earlier addressed a rally in Jagdalpur on September 26.

According to party sources, both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul would campaign in the tribal Bastar region of the state which could be key for the Congress` electoral success.

Bastar region has 12 seats and the Congress won just one in the 2008 polls, the remaining 11 going to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The entire frontline of the Congress leadership in the state was wiped out in a May 25 Maoist attack on a party convoy.

Former state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel along with his son Dinesh, senior leader Mahendra Karma and former MLA Uday Mudaliyar were killed as the party convey was returning from a "Parivartan Yatra" (procession for transformation) at Darbha Ghati. Later, former minister Vidya Charan Shukla, injured in the attack, died in a Gurgaon hospital.

The Congress is hopeful of forming a government in the state riding on the sympathy wave and the inroads its leaders claim to have made in the crucial Bastar region.

Nand Kumar`s son Umesh, Mahendra Karma`s wife Devti and Uday Mudaliyar`s wife Alka have been given party tickets to contest the assembly elections.

Umesh will fight from the Kharsiaconstituency, and Devti will contest for the Dantewada reserve seat. Significantly, Alka is pitted against Chief Minister Raman Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajnandgaon town.

Kawasi Lakhma, the lone Congress MLA from the tribal Bastar region, has again been given a ticket for the Konta reserved seat.

Amit Jogi, son of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, will contest the Marwahi reserved seat. His mother Renu Jogi will fight from the Kota Assembly seat.

Senior leader Ravindra Choubey will contest from Saja while Arun Vora, son of Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, will fight from Durg city.

IANS

First Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 10:40

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