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Campaigning for 1st phase ends in Chhattisgarh; Shah, Rahul trade barbs (Roundup)

IANS  |  Raipur 

With the campaigning for the first phase of the Assembly elections ending in on Saturday, and traded barbs at each other over what they had done for the benefit of the state.

Shah released the party's manifesto and held a road show in Rajnandgaon, the home turf of Minister Raman Singh, while Gandhi addressed three public meetings in Kondagaon, Jagdalpur and Kanker besides meeting several stakeholder groups including NGOs, members and representatives of the Satnami Samaj, an influential community in the state

While releasing the manifesto, Shah hit out at the accusing it of being a "Maoist sympathiser" and said that the BJP government under has made the state nearly Maoist-free and developed it into a power hub of prospering cement, and aluminium industries, besides making rapid progress in education and health.

"has made a successful effort to change in the last 15 years. The biggest achievement of the regime here is that it has tightened the noose on the Maoists.

"It has almost freed the state from the insurgents," the said, adding that now, when returns to power, he will focus on making the state a digital hub.

The BJP promised to give Rs two lakh interest free loans to women to start their business; to distribute free books and uniforms to students till Class 12; formation of welfare board and to build a film city in the state among others if voted to power.

Attacking the Congress, Shah said: "The party which sees Maoism as a medium for revolution can never do welfare for the state."

He said by providing cooking gas cylinders, electricity, education and to the poor and bringing happiness on the faces of farmers his party has brought about a "revolution".

Taking on the opposition Congress, Shah said that the party which ruled since Independence failed to deliver development in the states.

Gandhi, at a public meeting in the Kondagaon area, hit back at the BJP by mocking over his silence on the issues of corruption, demonetisation and GST and termed Raman Singh and Modi as "corrupt".

"is a prosperous state, but the BJP government steals from the people and helps 15-20 of its rich industrialist friends. Your natural resources are distributed among the rich. Chhattisgarh is the poorest state in India," he said.

Attacking Raman Singh, Gandhi said the "here is corrupt."

"says he fights corruption. But when it comes to Chhattisgarh, he doesn't say that the (Raman Singh) is corrupt."

Giving examples of corruption in the state, the alleged that no action was taken in the Rs 5,000 crore chit fund scam case "as the Chief Minister did not want any action in that".

"Over 60 people died and 310 FIRs were registered in the case but no action was taken because in the name was there."

"In the PDS (public distribution system) scam, Rs 36,000 crore was siphoned off. A diary was seized in that it was written that the money was given to CM Madam and Dr. saheb," he said, adding, "I want to ask that who was the CM Madam and Dr "

Gandhi said that if the Chief Minister does not want to answer these questions then he (CM) must explain as to why no action was taken against his son (Abhishek Singh) when even in a country like their was sent to jail after his name appeared in the papers.

"His (Raman Singh) son's name appeared in Papers but no action is taken against him because Raman Singh and Modi are corrupt," he thundered.

Raking up the issues of unemployment in the state, Gandhi said despite 15 years of BJP rule in the state, over 40 lakh youth are unemployed. "land given to industrialists, teachers' posts vacant, no irrigation facilities in most lands despite 15 years of BJP rule. People of other states given employment here," he said.

"We will stop it. People of Chhattisgarh will get jobs. Will give land to landless," the Congress chief said.

The Congress alleged that Raman Singh had promised a minimum support price of Rs 2,100 for paddy, but today, farmers get only Rs 1,500. "Congress government will provide MSP of Rs 2,500 for paddy. We will also give bonus to farmers that BJP promised and failed to fulfil," he said.

He also assured the people of the state that if his party comes to power in the state then it will enforce the Rights Act, PESA Act and the Land Acquisition Act that protects farmers' and tribals' land.

The first phase of the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh will see polling in 18 seats in eight Maoist-affected districts on Monday. The ruling BJP had lost 12 of the 18 seats in the 2013 Assembly polls. The remaining 72 constituencies will go to the polls in the second phase on November 20.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 19:12 IST