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Chhattisgarh: War in BJP camp over ticket denial

About 10 sitting MLAs were denied tickets by BJP, giving a chance to as many as 20 new faces in its first list of 67 candidates, for the two-phased polls next month. The ‘leftout’ MLAs have expressed anguish over the distribution of tickets and also termed it as ‘unfair’.

Besides, those ticket seekers who had lost previous elections by only a little margin, also seemed to be disappointed. Party’s state unit vice-president Sachchidanand Upasane who was denied ticket from Raipur city north constituency accused the party of favouring a businessman by ignoring dedicated party workers.

Upasane had lost this seat in the previous election to Congress’ Kuldeep Singh Juneja by a small margin of 1436 votes and was expecting another opportunity this time.

‘I have been working at ground level in this constituency from past several years. Senior leaders overlooked my dedication and gave ticket to a trader who rarely meets party workers here,’ Upasane alleged.

‘Though I had lost previous election but many other candidates who have lost previous election with a big margin were given tickets. This is unfair,’ he said. He further added that he may contest as an independent on the demand of his supporters.

Scores of Upasane’s supporters had gathered at the party s state headquarters on last evening after the announcement and had raised slogans against the senior party leaders accusing them of corruption in ticket distribution. The protest continued on Monday also.

Srichand Sundrani, a BJP leader from the Sindhi community, has been given ticket from Raipur city North seat instead of Upasane. Disgruntled, sitting MLA from Manendragarh constituency, Deepak Patel suspected ‘conspiracy’ behind his eviction from the list.

He was upset with the nomination of Shyam Bihari Agrawal from the seat. Patel had won 2008 election with the margin of over 14,000 votes against the Congress candidate.

‘I don’t now why the party took such a decision. This can be a part of any conspiracy,’ Patel alleged, adding that he will meet his supporters in this connection and take further action accordingly.

However party’s state unit president Ramsewak Paikra said the candidates have been nominated based on the party’s survey and discussion with senior leaders.

Ruling out any conspiracy or bias in allotting tickets, Paikra said the party was willing to give chance to new faces who are in touch with locals and working at the ground level.

The ticket aspirants also blamed that the MLAs who had won previous election with the margin of 5000 votes were given ticket whereas even after registering victory with margin of over 10,000 votes, some sitting legislators were denied ticket.

According to them, ministers- Ramvichar Netam (Ramanujganj), Chandrashekhar Sahu (Abhanpur), Hemchand Yadav (Durg City), Vikram Usendi (Antagarh) and Lata Usendi (Kondagaon) while MLAs- Omprakash Rathiya (Dharamjaigarh), Badridhar Diwan (Beltara), Nand Kumar Sahu (Raipur Rural), Virendra Sahu (Gunderdehi) and Subhau Kashyap (Bastar) had won election with the margin of 5,000 but they were retained. Meanwhile, Deepak Patel (Manendragarh), Sumitra Markole (Kanker), Jageshwar Ram Bhagat (Jashpur), Damrudhar Pujari (Bindranawagarh), Domanlal Korsewada (Ahiwara), Brahmanand (Bhanupratppur) had won previous election with margin of 10,000 votes but they denied tickets.
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