Police deployed at Chhattisgarh BJP, Congress offices


Raipur : Police were deployed at the offices of Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress here Friday to prevent vandalism by party workers who are angry at their leaders being denied tickets for the assembly polls next month.

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The BJP called in police Friday after dozens of angry party workers stormed into the state office, Ekatm Parisar, late Thursday for the second consecutive day and tried to ransack the place. They were chased away by police.

They were supporters of Mahasamund legislator Poonam Chandrakar, who has not got an election ticket.

About 500 supporters of other leaders who did not get nominated, including former minister Rajinderpal Singh Bhatia, also reached the party office here in dozens of vehicles Thursday and created unruly scenes.

The BJP has so far declared 78 candidates. It has left out 18 sitting MLAs, including a minister, nominating others in their place and has bet on new faces hoping the exercise will help the party contain the anti-incumbency factor.

Some of those who have lost out say they will ensure the party’s defeat.

Police have also been deployed at the Congress state headquarters, Gandhi Bhawan, after a sitting MLA, Chetan Verma, was not nominated by the party that released the first list of 35 candidates Thursday. Verma’s supporters went on the rampage but police managed to control the situation.

Party leaders fear more such protests once the names of all candidates are made public within a week.

The state goes to polls in two phases – Nov 14 and 20 – to elect a new 90-member state assembly. Thirty nine segments will hold elections in the first phase while 51 seats will see elections in the second and final phase.