By Sundeep Pouranik
Raipur, Sep 4 : With the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh just over a year away, both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have started making political strategies to counter each other.
The political heat has further intensified in the poll-bound state with the political moves announced by both the parties.
The BJP has remained in power in the state for nearly one-and-a-half decade, but in the 2018 state Assembly elections, the Congress came to power by defeating the BJP by a huge margin of seats.
Both the Congress and BJP are going all-out about the upcoming Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh to be held in 2023 because the Congress faces a challenge to stay in power, while the BJP is desperately trying to reclaim power after being out of power for five years.
The Congress has 71 MLAs in the 90-seat state Assembly, while the BJP has 14 MLAs, besides the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh has three MLAs while the Bahujan Samaj Party has two MLAs.
The BJP is trying to change the situation on the ground, therefore the party has undergone a complete overhaul. Ajay Jamwal has been appointed as the regional General Secretary (organisation) and has been given the charge of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh party unit. The saffron party has decided to make Jamwal’s headquarters at Raipur.
Similarly, the BJP has also appointed Arun Sao as the new state party President replacing Vishnudeo Sai. The saffron party is preparing to fight the Congress government at the ground level and has changed the state party president and appointed Narayan Chandel as the new legislative party leader in the state Assembly, replacing Dharamlal Kaushik.
The BJP is directly attacking Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government instead of the party.
Opposition leader Narayan Chandel says that huge corruption has taken place in the state, but the Chhattisgarh government is busy promoting itself. By collecting fudged unemployment data, the state government is trying to mislead the people of the state, Chandel added.
“The state (Congress) government is efficient at not fulfilling poll promises and the people must not show faith in this government.”
On the other hand, the Bhupesh Baghel government is busy promoting its welfare schemes among the people. Simultaneously, the Chief Minister is reaching out to the people through the CM meeting campaign and is trying to gauge the pulse of the people on the ground.
Congress is actively working in the state under the leadership of Baghel and is making efforts to keep people united.
In the Jharkhand case, Baghel launched a blistering attack on the Central government and the Jharkhand MLAs have been camping in Chhattisgarh. The Chief Minister claims that now ED and I-T raids will take place in the state. Such raids have taken place earlier as well and similar raids will follow soon, he added.
“BJP orders such raids as it does not believe in democracy,” he said.
Political analyst Rudra Awasthi believes that the Congress is continuously strengthening its political base on the ground. The grand-old party has started several welfare schemes, which have benefited the poor as well as transformed the rural economy.
Awasthi says that on the other hand, it will be a major challenge for the BJP to fight the Congress in the state. The saffron party is aware of this reality so it has made several changes in the party. In the coming days, it depends on the political skills of the leaders of both the parties and the strategies they adopt to move forward in the state.