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CM Raman Singh hints at fielding young faces in 2018 assembly polls

RAIPUR: Amid BJP chief Amit Shah’s proposed visit to Chhattisgarh next month, chief minister Raman Singh has hinted at the possibility of party fielding ‘new young faces’ in about 50 per cent of the constituencies in the assembly polls to be held by November next year.

Singh, who is on an intensive tour across the state as part of the Lok Suraj campaign, told reporters that the party could consider fielding new faces in many constituencies in the 2018 election to the 90-member Vidhan Sabha. As the BJP, which came to power in the state’s maiden assembly polls in 2003, is aiming to retain power for the fourth consecutive term and the party leadership is devising strategies to beat anti-incumbency factor-both at the state level as well as assembly constituency level.

Indications are that nearly 30 sitting legislators could be denied ticket to introduce new faces in the elections. Chief minister maintained that the party’s central election committee would take a call on giving or denying ticket to minsters to seek re-election to the Vidhan Sabha in the next year’s election.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah is expected to arrive in June on a three-day visit to Chhattisgarh apparently to initiate preparations of the party for the next assembly elections.

Shah is expected to hold detailed discussions with state BJP chief Dharamlal Kaushik, chief minister Raman Singh and other party functionaries to make an assessment about the situation before finalizing the strategies for the next elections.

“As of now, the opposition Congress is in a disarray as it did not have a face to project. During the last more than 13 year-long BJP rule, opposition Congress could not nail even one minister or any other ruling party leader on the charges of corruption,” a former BJP minister told TOI.

Though he maintained that politics in Chhattisgarh would largely remain bipolar, the BJP leader said the emergence of new regional party headed by former chief minister Ajit Jogi needs to be closely watched as it just cannot be construed the new party would only damage the prospects of Congress party.

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