Chhattisgarh BJP faces rising dissension

Raipur, Oct 27 (IANS) Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is faced with rising dissension and the latest revolt is by senior leader Virendra Pandey, who has asked the party to allow him to contest from Raipur in the forthcoming polls.

Pandey, former chairman of the State Finance Commission, wants the BJP to replace him as the party nominee for Raipur city (west) seat, where the party has declared state Industry Minister Rajesh Munat as its official candidate.

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Earlier, as many as eight sitting legislators have threatened to “work against the party’s official candidates in next month’s polls if they continue to be overlooked”.

The BJP announced its first list of 78 candidates out of the state’s total 90 seats Oct 21. It deprived 18 sitting legislators, including a minister and five parliamentary secretaries, of party tickets.

Though all the 18 ticket losers openly expressed dissatisfaction over the party decision, eight of them brought hundreds of their supporters to the party’s state unit headquarters here and tried to vandalise office. Their attempts were foiled as the police was called in and the protesters were chased away.

“The rising dissension after the announcement of the first list has shocked the party. Chief Minister Raman Singh is holding talkS with some potential rebels to keep things under control anyhow,” a senior state-level leader told IANS.

The state goes to polls Nov 14 for 39 seats, while elections will be held for the remaining 51 seats Nov 20.