Bihar BJP sees opportunity in upcoming panchayat elections to penetrate deep into the state

Express News Service

RAIPUR: Even as the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh begun gearing up for the proposed trip of the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the opposition BJP is set to launch its preparation for the 2023 Assembly polls organising ‘Chintan Shivir’ at Bastar from September 1.

After his return from Delhi on Saturday, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said that Rahul Gandhi will also visit Bastar during his two-day stay in the state.

The BJP’s scheduled two-day brain storming session at the tribal dominated Bastar is intended to work out the party’s strategy keeping an eye on the tribal votes that remains a key factor in the Chhattisgarh politics. The BJP during the 2018 polls was badly stung by the dismal show.

The opposition doesn’t have an MLA from the 12 seats (including 11 reserved for Scheduled Tribes) in Bastar zone.

Chhattisgarh’s Bastar besides known for worst Maoist affected region had equally assumed a political significance where the parties believe the tribals of the region holds the key to the formation of government.

Bastar is known to vote one-way and the party gaining the tribal’s support forms the government. The Congress formed government in 1998 winning eleven seats, in 2003 the BJP wrested power from Congress winning eight. Again in 2008 the BJP retained its regime getting overwhelming 11 seats from Bastar’s tribal belt.

“During the course of Bastar Chintan Shivir, around 50 senior party leaders including MPs, MLAs, members of core group and senior members of the organisation would be attending to discuss the political situation in the state and chalk out the strategy. BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh and the joint general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash will be present at the Shivir,” said the state BJP president Vishnu Deo Sai.

During the two day session, over 2000 party cadres will also assemble from seven districts of Bastar zone. They will get an opportunity for a direct communication with the national and state leaders, the party leaders said.