Sparks fly as cam­paign for Round 1 of polls ends

BJP, Cong rake up Maoist is­sue ahead of vot­ing

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

RAIPUR: Cam­paign­ing ended on a com­bat­ive note on Satur­day for the first phase of polling in the Maoist strong­hold of Ch­hat­tis­garh, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claim­ing to have al­most ended left-wing ex­trem­ism in the state and the Congress as­sert­ing it needed no lessons in pa­tri­o­tism from the BJP, in a ri­poste to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s al­le­ga­tion that it backed Maoist sym­pa­this­ers.

BJP pres­i­dent, Amit Shah, spoke for the rul­ing party, taking over from Modi, who claimed on Fri­day that the Congress was soft on so-called “ur­ban nax­als,” or left-wing ac­tivists based in the cities sym­pa­thetic to the cause of Maoists, and ac­cused it of de­scrib­ing the rebels as “rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies”.

“The BJP govern­ment un­der chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh has con­tained Nax­al­ism and made the state al­most free of it,” Shah claimed, re­leas­ing the poll man­i­festo. “A party that feels Nax­al­ism is a medium for revo­lu­tion can­not do any good for Ch­hat­tis­garh,” he added in a ref­er­ence to the Congress. Gandhi re­torted: “Don’t teach us pa­tri­o­tism. There is a line of mar­tyrs in our party.”



Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi dur­ing a visit to a gu­rud­wara in Ch­hat­tis­garh’s Ra­j­nandgaon on Satur­day.

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