Last Friday,Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was taken aback when former minister Renuka Singh broke down before a gathering of all 90 BJP candidates. The CM had called the meeting to assess the partys prospects and Renuka,sitting MLA from Prem Nanagar,was among many who complained about party colleagues supporting rival candidates. In tears,she said a general secretary and his supporters were out to defeat her.
After protests had surfaced in the BJP following the announcement of tickets,party president Rajnath Singh had denied there was any rebellion while the CM had said some dissent was natural and predicted everyone would soon get down to working together. The wounds,however,continue to hurt. In the assessment meeting,even state BJP president Ramsewak Painkra accused outgoing panchayat minister Ramvichar Netam of plotting his defeat. Netams men even put up dummy candidates, Painkra reportedly told the gathering.
Former state president Shiv Pratap Singh named alleged rebels working against him,as did many other candidates. And Agriculture Minister Chandrashekhar Sahu said the names of four lakh voters had been deleted across the state.
Raman Singh assured them he would apprise Rajnath Singh of their complaints. He has since arrived in Delhi,still sounding confident of victory while party insiders complain about BJP ka Congressikaran.
The Congress has had no consolation,though. A similar meeting PCC chief Charan Das Mahant held on Sunday saw many of the 90 contestants come up with similar complaints. Bhupesh Baghel (Patan),Agni Chandrakar (Mahasamund),Dr Haridas Bhardwaj (Saraipali),Paresh Bagbehra (Khallari),Dhanendra Sahu (Abhanpur) and Manturam Pawar (Antagarh) and others alleged their partymen had supported rival candidates. They claimed this was done at the instance of certain senior leaders; sources said some of them named former CM Ajit Jogi.
We have received complaints against some senior leaders and will inform the high command. We will accordingly act on the complaints, said Mahant,who too has since travelled to Delhi. He pledged all the rebels would be unmasked and strict action taken against them.