Why is the BJP fuming over Congress’ choice of candidates for Chhattisgarh RS polls?

Congress has named Rajiv Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan as candidates for Chhattisgarh RS polls; BJP calls them outsiders

The Congress party’s choice of candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections in seats that have fallen vacant in Chhattisgarh seems to be causing much of a heartburn to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  And, funnily enough, the reason is silly, if you look at it from an impartial plane.

The saffron outfit has found it irksome when the Congress announced the nomination of its senior leader and journalist-turned-politician Rajiv Shukla and former Bihar MP Ranjeet Ranjan as its candidates from Chhattisgarh. Both of them are outsiders, and this has given the BJP a pin to prick the Congress with.

Terming the Congress act as a betrayal of the people of the Chhattisgarh, the BJP launched itself into action trying to let the people of the state know that they have been insulted by the Congress party! The Congress rules Chhattisgarh, and that is surely why the BJP wants the people to turn against it.

 The BJP stated that the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh has insulted people of the state by nominating two outsiders for the Rajya Sabha seats from the state, which would fall vacant next month. The Congress party’s announcement of candidates – two strong leaders for that matter – even before the BJP even finalised its candidates could also be the reason for the heartburn.

RS polls on June 10

The saffron party has not come up with names of the possible candidates too, and it could be struggling to find the right candidate. Now that the Congress has announced the names of the candidates, the BJP is in a fix as to how it would find able candidates who would stand up to the might of Rajiv Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan. The BJP has a low strength in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, with only 90 seats. The Assembly constitutes the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls that has been scheduled for June 10.  The last day for filing the nominations is May 31, and the BJP might be in a fix.

Now that the Congress has brought forth two strong candidates, the BJP finds no other way but to attack the rival party holding aloft the ‘outsider’ tag. Going by Chhattisgarh BJP chief Vishnu Deo Sai, the BJP thinks that bringing in outsiders as candidates is not right. The state chief of the BJP has even asked of this was the “Chhattisgarhiyawad” of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Congress defends decision

Meanwhile, the Congress party’s Chhattisgarh unit has defended the decision, and warned the BJP that it has no moral right to comment on a decision taken by the Congress.

Even as this drama unfolds, one wonders why the BJP is holding forth the outsider tag, when even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Smriti Irani had contested the election outside their state. BJP might not have an answer to this, as it looks at only winning the moment through accusations and rebuke of its rival. The party needs to think again before commenting and passing judgements on a rival outfit’s decision.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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