Last week saw some high-profile poll and political controversies in Chhattisgarh. From ugly scuffle to police cases,politicians slugged it out.
The missing abuse: The scuffle that erupted between the Congress and BJP supporters during a live show on a news channel involving PWD Minister Brijmohan Agarwal and his opposing candidate Kiranmayee Nayak last week sees no end. After both parties registered a criminal case against each other,the police arrested Agarwal and Nayak along with nearly dozen supporters for rioting late on Saturday. While they were released following the declaration of a bond,the battle rages on between the two camps on Facebook. Agarwal,who contests from Raipur (south),was in a live panel discussion with Raipur Mayor and Congress candidate Kiranmayee Nayak. As the show went on,Agarwal suddenly asked Nayak to check her language. Subsequently,his men jumped in and assaulted Nayak and her supporters,leaving several injured. Agarwal alleged that she had used an unparliamentarily term for ministers in the Raman Singh Cabinet. Nayak repeatedly maintained that she only said they are nikamma (useless) as except a few,none of the Cabinet inisters are seen in public. Footage showed that she did not utter it.
Lost in translation: Nayak faced another controversy over the filing of nomination papers. In her form,she mentioned her party as Bharatiya Rashtriya Congress,to which the BJP has quickly taken a note and registered a complaint with the EC. The symbol of the palm,they contended,belongs to the Congress and not the Bharatiya Rashtriya Congress and hence her nomination should be rejected. Confused,Nayak defended herself by saying that she translated Indian National Congress as Bharatiya Rashtriya Congress. The commission accepted her contention.
The turncoats: At the time of filing the ticket application,Congress candidates had submitted a declaration that if they are denied the nomination they would not show any dissent and completely support the partys candidate. Termed as the Rahul formula,the introduction of this clause was believed to inculcate electoral ethics among Congressmen. However,many applicants or their supporters can be openly seen opposing the official candidate. At least six of them have already switched sides and are contesting either as Independent or from local parties.
Birthday and birthdates: The Rajnandgaon Collector Ashok Agarwal,also the district electoral officer,has issued a notice to CM Raman Singh regarding election expenditure he has undertaken. Singh contests from Rajnandgaon and the notice came after the Congress had complained to the EC that the expenditure he incurred for his birthday celebrations on October 15 should be included in his poll expenses. On the other hand,BJP pointed out,following media reports,that former CM Ajit Jogis son Amit Jogi had mentioned different dates and places of his birth in various affidavits. In his 2001 affidavit he submitted to get himself registered as an Indian citizen,Amit mentioned that he was born in Texas,USA,on August 7,1977. However,when he submitted an affidavit in August 2002 to attain the domicile status of the Chhattisgarh state,he wrote that he was born on August 7,1978 in Bilaspur. In a subsequent August 2004 submission to get a Schedule Tribe certificate he noted his birth date as August 7,1977,and birth place a village of Bilaspur. Noting these discrepancies and some criminal cases pending against him,the BJP claimed that Jogis candidature mocks the claim of Rahul Gandhi to choose young and clean candidates.