BJP's three-time Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh Raman Singh feels that former CM Ajit Jogi and BSP coming together in the state will have an impact on the outcome of the assembly polls slated to be held later this month.
BJP’s three-time Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh Raman Singh feels that former CM Ajit Jogi and BSP coming together in the state will have an impact on the outcome of the assembly polls slated to be held later this month. In an interview with The Indian Express, Singh said that BSP supremo Mayawati and Jogi can’t be ignored because they command over 5% of votes that can have an influence on around 30 seats.
“Look, this (Jogi and Mayawati’s BSP fighting together) cannot be totally ignored. You cannot close your eyes on this. This is a third force. BSP has 4-5 per cent votes, Jogi has 2-3 per cent votes. It may seem big big (individually), but if 5 or 6 per cent votes go to one side, it will leave its effect the elections,” he said.
“The impact of this will be on around 30 constituencies – it will definitely have an influence,” Singh who is seeking re-election from Rajnandgaon added.
Singh said that elections this year is centred on the all-round development of the state. “We have made this a basis in 15 years, made a foundation. Roads, electricity, railways, internet and air connectivity…the dream to build a new Chhattisgarh,” he said.
Denying an anti-BJP wave in the state, Singh said, “The anti-incumbency that is talked about now was said in 2013 as well. But people think that change has taken place in 15 years – a new Chhattisgarh is being built, good roads have been laid, which people wanted.”
He said that the government has provided electricity to villages, constructed roads and addressed drinking water problems effectively.
On Maoist menace, Raman Singh said that the scenario has changed in the last 15 years. “I think the start we made in 2003, and when I look at it now in 2018, I have a sense of satisfaction that we have done well. Surguja has become all right, a large part of Bastar as well,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that there are some patches where Maoists have influence, but the people of Bastar are with the government and want peace and development. “The development work in Bastar is because of people’s faith,” he said, addin that the government has laid roads in Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur where people couldn’t dream of infrastructure.
When asked whether the Ram temple will be an issue in the polls, Raman Singh said, “This (Ram temple) is not an election issue in this state – that is clear.” He, however, said that it is an emotional issue and everyone in Chhattisgarh wants a mandir to be made at the same place.
“There are no doubts that a temple will be built in Ayodhya at the same spot,” Raman Singh said.
The Assembly polls in the state are seen as a semi-final to the 2019 general elections. Although opinion polls have predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP once again, the road to the CM’s chair has become interesting with former Congressman Ajit Jogi and Mayawati coming together to fight both Congress and BJP.
The first phase of polling in the state will be held on November 12 covering 18 constituencies. The remining 72 seats will go to polls on November 20. Results will be declared on December 11.