Chhattisgarh: Protest over renaming district



Raipur: Hundreds of people in Chhattisgarh's Baloda Bazar town Thursday took to streets against the state government for renaming a district even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed the Congress for instigating the protest.

Chief Minister Raman Singh had last August announced nine new districts, including Baloda Bazar.

However, he renamed the district Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara at a formal inaugural function Wednesday that led to widespread protests in Baloda Bazar town Thursday.

Reports coming in from Baloda Bazar, some 75 km from here, said hundreds of stick-wielding people burnt tyres on the roads and raised slogans against the government.

Reports say the protesters damaged a few private vehicles as well.

Officials at the police headquarters here said the situation at the town was "very tense" and deployed extra troopers to handle any untoward incidents. The police staged flag marches in parts of the town.

BJP leader Ramesh Bais blamed the Congress for the protests, saying the party feels that formation of the new district, Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara, will further weaken it in the area which is carved out of Raipur district.

Congress state president Nandkumar Patel said, "The decision for formation of nine new districts was taken by the BJP government in haste and the local people and other political parties were not taken into confidence, that's why people in Baloda Bazar area are taking to streets."

IANS