Chhattisgarh elections HIGHLIGHTS: Rahul Gandhi releases party’s manifesto in Rajnandgaon

Chhattisgarh elections HIGHLIGHTS: Rahul Gandhi releases party’s manifesto in Rajnandgaon

Chhattisgarh elections: The first phase on November 12 will see 18 seats of eight Naxal-affected districts go to polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address rallies across Chhattisgarh on Friday. (File)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address rallies across Chhattisgarh on Friday. (File)

With only two days to go for the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, the political battle between the BJP and Congress intensified on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the latter of “ruining the lives of poor Adivasi youth by supporting urban Maoists”. “Why is Congress backing urban Maoists who live in AC surroundings, travel in big cars and have their children study abroad, but ruin the lives of poor Adivasi youth,” the PM asked.

Castigating the BJP-led central government’s twin decisions of demonetisation and GST, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Khairagarh alleged that no other prime minister has damaged the economy as much as Narendra Modi. He also took on the government over the Rafale deal and Demonetisation while addressing the crowd in Pakhanjore town of Kanker district earlier in the day. “All of you were standing in long queues during demonetisation but not one black money holder was seen. Also, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi ran away from the country with your money.” The Congress leader also attacked the government over the rising fuel prices,” the Congress leader said.

The two leaders gave the final push to the poll campaign for elections for the first phase in the state today. PM Modi will also hold a roadshow in Chief Minister Raman Singh’s constituency Rajnandgaon.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi campaign in Chattisgarh.

Rahul Gandhi releases party's manifesto in Rajnandgaon.

(Source: ANI)

Visuals from Congress rally in Pakhanjore

(Source: PTI)

Congress govt will also give the farm bonus that BJP hasn't given in the last 2 years:Congress President

Food processing unit in every district: Rahul Gandhi

"Congress govt in the state will construct food processing unit in every district in Chattisgarh where farmers can sell their products directly," Rahul Gandhi said. 

"This will also create employment opportunities," he added.

Rahul Gandhi promises better MSP for Paddy farmers in Chattisgarh

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Dongargarh promised a Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of Rs 2500 for Paddy farmers in the state.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addresses a public gathering in Dongargarh

No other PM has damaged the economy as much as Modi: Rahul Gandhi

Castigating the BJP-led central government's twin decisions of demonetisation and GST, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi alleged that no other prime minister has damaged the economy as much as Narendra Modi.

Nearly 60,000 posts for teachers vacant in Chattisgarh: Rahul Gandhi

CM Raman Singh and PM Modi promised jobs, but today nearly 60,000 teacher posts, 13,000 lecturer posts are vacant & 3000 Aadivasi schools were shut down. We will ensure that the govt vacancies are filled up: Congress President

Congress CM will waive farm loans in 10 days of coming to power: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi in Chhattisgarh

Modi and Raman Singh govt in Chattisgarh failed to deliver

Rahul Gandhi addresses rally in Khairagarh

Visuals from Congress rally in Pakhanjore

The crowd at the Congress rally in Pakhanjore on Friday. (Photo: INC)

Rahul Gandhi addresses public in Pakhanjore

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at the rally in Pakhanjore on Friday. (Photo: INC)

PM Modi concludes speech in Jagdalpur

Concluding his speech, Modi said, “Democracy is the only solution to our problems. This is the only way of democracy. Problems cannot be solved by taking up guns. We need to fulfill the dreams of a young Chhattisgarh. Let us all create a new Bastar and a new Chhattisgarh.”

Congress has no future, says PM Modi

"Congress does not have any future. The party that lives by lies does not have a place on Earth. Our only mantra is development, their work is only lying," Modi said.

PM Modi hits out at Congress over Doordarshan video journalist's death

Condemning the recent murder of Doordarshan video journalists by Maoists in Dantewada, PM Modi said, 'You must have seen that recently, people connected to our journalism world, a Doordarshan cameraman who was trying to bring out the voice of the people lost his life. He was killed by the Maoists. What was his crime? He was here for you, he did not come here with a gun but a camera. Two days ago, five of our jawans were martyred. These Maoists kill innocent people and Congress leaders call them revolutionaries, is this acceptable?' 

'Chhattisgarh's future will soon be connected to Bastar's economic development'

Assuring economic development in Bastar region, PM Modi said, "Every person in this country is knowledgeable and aware, which is why Congress cannot fool anyone now. That day is not far when Chhattisgarh's future will be connected to Bastar's economic development." 

'Dalits, backward classes treasure for Congress'

"Dalits, backward classes and poor are a treasure for the Congress party. It is because of BJP's thinking that the lower strata of the society is given special attention and brought to the level of others. However,  the Congress would make fun of the tribal population," Modi told the gathering.

Chhattisgarh govt, Centre working together to ensure development: PM Modi

"Every corner of this region is a way for development today. This is because both the state and the central government have always worked together. Did anyone ever think that people would be able to fly to Delhi and back from Jagdalpur? Did anyone think that Bastar would have its own medical college and university?" Modi added.

PM Modi hits out at UPA govt

Modi also alleged that when CM Raman Singh was in power for 10 years, the central government headed by Congress conspired to ensure no development took place in Chhattisgarh. "When we asked about development in the state, we were told that there cannot be any development as the areas are under Naxals’ control but we decided to take development to these areas," he said.

PM Modi on development in Chhattisgarh

"When Chhattisgarh was a part of Madhya Pradesh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee observed that even when Congress ruled Madhya Pradesh for years, people had to go hungry in this region. For this purpose, Atal Bihari Vajpayee created a separate state of Chhattisgarh," the PM said.

'Urge Bastar residents to teach Congress a lesson'

Centre working to fulfil dreams of 18-year-old Chhattisgarh: PM Modi

Continuing his address, PM Modi said, "Chhattisgarh has turned 18. Now, the requirements of the state are different. The parents of an 18-year-old also have to alter their budget when he/she turns 18. Now, even the government sitting in Delhi is working to fulfil the dreams of this 18-year-old Chhattisgarh." 

'Urban Maoists live in big cities'

Speaking on the Maoist menace in the state, PM Modi said, "Children who should be holding pens are forced to hold guns, that is the monstrous mentality of Naxals. Urban Maoists live in air-conditioned houses, they create an aura and their children are educated in foreign universities. But through remote system, they destroy the lives of Adivasi children."

Efforts underway to enhance quality of life here: PM Modi

'BJP govt did away with middlemen to ensure development'

"How did this development in Chhattisgarh happen? People wonder, there were governments in power earlier, but there was no development... the reason for that is because we did away with the middlemen," Modi told the crowd.

PM Modi reiterates need for 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'

"Elections would be held earlier too and governments would also be formed. But they have always remained self-centered. All sorts of discrimination must come to an end, keeping in mind Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas," PM Modi added.

PM Modi's 'Bhai Dooj' appeal to women voters

"On the occasion of Bhai Dooj,  I have come to ask something from you. I have come to fulfil my responsibilities. I have come forward with new proposals for development. To ensure a bright future for the upcoming generation, we are trying to fight hunger and poverty. This is our duty since you have entrusted upon us the responsibility of solving your problems and fulfilling your dreams," PM Modi said.

PM Modi begins addressing Jagdalpur rally

PM Modi set to address crowd in Jagdalpur

Visuals from Rahul's rally in Chhattisgarh

Rahul attacks Modi govt over Rafale deal

Speaking about the Rafale deal, Rahul said, "PM Modi had gifted a Rs 30,000 crore deal to industrialist Anil Ambani. The Modi government decided to change the prices of the Rafale fighter jets from Rs 526 crore per jet (decided by UPA govt) to Rs 1,600 crore per jet. The govt also snatched away the deal from HAL to hand it over to the Ambanis." 

Rahul Gandhi begins addressing crowd in Pakhanjore

In a direct attack on PM Modi over demonetisation, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who is presently addressing the crowd in Pakhanjore, said, "All of you were standing in long queues during demonetisation but not one black money holder was seen. Also, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi ran away from the country with your money." The Congress leader also attacked the government over the rising fuel prices.

CPI condemns killing of worker in Chhattisgarh

The CPI(M) has condemned the killing of one of its workers allegedly by goons of rival candidates in poll-bound Sukma district. The party, on Thursday, said in a statement that Durva Kalumu was killed when he was returning after campaigning for its Konta assembly candidate Manish Kunjam. However, police in Chhattisgarh had said he was killed by Naxals. The incident took place on November 7. Demanding stern steps to curb poll-related violence, the party urged the Chhattisgarh government to hold an impartial inquiry into the killing and arrest culprits immediately. It also drew the Election Commission's attention to the violence.

Days before vote, Maoists target poll-duty bus, at least five killed

Meanwhile on Thursday, in a third Maoist attack in less than two weeks, a CISF head constable and four civilians were killed when their bus was hit by an IED blast in Bacheli, in Dantewada. Senior police officers said the private bus had been requisitioned by the state government for the elections in Bastar, which goes to polls on November 12. On October 30, three men, including a Doordarshan cameraman, were killed in a Maoist attack in Neelavaya in Dantewada. On October 27, four CRPF personnel were killed in an IED blast in Bijapur district. Read full story here.

Congress final candidate list cause ruckus in party offices

Last week, a ruckus erupted at the Congress office in Raipur South and Bilaspur Thursday night following arguments over seats, news agency ANI had reported. The announcement of Congress candidates for the Chhattisgarh assembly elections had instigated tension in both party offices. “It’s Congress workers’ sentiments for the seat as they have right to speak. Puniaji spoke to them after which they left," party leader R Tiwari had said. There was dissent among party workers regarding the distribution of tickets, party leader Narendra Bolar said, adding, “Workers think that those continuously working for party should be given tickets. No one is a rebel here, we’re a family. We are united against BJP.” Read full story here

Amit Shah takes on Rahul Gandhi: Make stand clear on Naxalism

While addressing a rally in Rajnandgaon and Kondagaon districts on Monday, BJP chief Amit Shah asked Rahul Gandhi and his party to make its stance clear on whether it believes Naxalites are “revolutionaries”. At a poll meeting at Ambagarh Chowki in Rajnandgaon, Shah said, “A Congress leader yesterday called Naxalism a revolution. I want to ask the Congress chief to make his stand clear on Naxalism. Your leader called it a revolution. What is your stand?” Shah was referring to Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar who had used the word “krantikaari” in a sentence while referring to the Maoists. Babbar had made the comments in Raipur, suggesting that part of the way forward was talks. But when asked to clarify on his use of the word “krantikaari”, he told reporters, “I want to clarify that I said the issue can be resolved through talks with those who call themselves revolutionaries by indulging in acts of terrorism." Read full story here.

Congress' Ajit Jogi to contest from Marwahi

State Congress chief Ajit Jogi will contest from Marwahi constituency. Chhattisgarh’s first chief minister, Jogi had earlier declared that he would fight the elections against Chief Minister Raman Singh. With the decision drawing much flak from the Congress, he withdrew, claiming that members of the CJC-BSP-CPI coalition had asked him to campaign for them across the state instead of concentrating on one seat. At the time, Jogi had unilaterally declared on October 20 that he would not fight the elections at all. A day later, the party led by his son and present Marwahi MLA Amit Jogi had said that the “people of Marwahi” wanted him to contest, that he would not even need to campaign for him to win. In a list declared on October 30, the CJC officially named Ajit Jogi as the Marwahi candidate.

The first phase on November 12 will see 18 seats of eight Naxal-affected districts go to polls. Of these, 12 are Scheduled Tribe seats while one is a Scheduled Caste-reserved seat. The first phase of voting will cover Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Bastar, Jagdalpur, Keshkal, Chitrakot, Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta, Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji and Mohla-Manpur seats. A total of 30 candidates will be in the fray in Rajnandgaon constituency, while five candidates will fight it out in Bastar and Kondagaon seats each.

The ruling BJP had lost 12 of the 18 seats in the 2013 Assembly polls. The remaining 72 constituencies will witness polling on November 20 and counting of votes will be held on December 11. The campaigning for the first phase will end on Saturday.