Cong focus on LWE-hit Bastar district for winning Chhattisgarh
AS campaigning for phase 1 of polling in Chhattisgarh came to an end on Saturday, Congress’ poll managers talked up hope of the party maintaining its edge in the crucial Bastar region.
The Congress, which won 8 out of 12 assembly seats in the naxalaffected Bastar region in the 2013 polls, hopes to get 10-11 seats this time, riding on the three term anti-incumbency against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
“We will do well in Bastar region,” said a senior AICC functionary supervising the campaign in Chhattisgarh.
Bastar, said sources, indicates the trend in Chhattisgarh, which is largely a tribal state. The ruling BJP’s tally had come down from 11 in the 2008 polls to just 4 in the 2013 polls. “The BJP government stopped tribal development programmes in Bastar,” said a senior Congres leader, adding that the previous UPA’s plan of `30 crore for each tribal district was also shelved by the Raman Singh government.
“There is heavy exodus from the area. Women suffer due to human trafficking and malnutrition is widespread among children,” the leader said.
The Mahila Congress, led by its national president Sushmita Dev, too, ran an extensive campaign in the Bastar region to convince women voters to get their fingers inked in favour of the party.
Congress managers said the party did well in the recent panchayat polls in the state and bagged about 70 per cent of the seats.