Both BJP and Cong seek votes in Vajpayee's name in Raman Singh’s home turf

8 Nov 2018

What's in a name? A lot, if the name to bank upon is Atal Bihari Vajpayee in this Assembly constituency of Chhattisgarh where chief minister Raman Singh of the BJP is pitted against Congress candidate Karuna Shukla, niece of the late former Prime Minister.
Both the parties are trying their best to garner votes in Vajpayee's name. While the ruling party leaders say the BJP and Vajpayee are "synonymous", Shukla alleged the chief minister was showing his "double standards" by claiming to follow the ideology of the BJP stalwart when the state government was "miles apart" from the former prime minister's teachings. "BJP has changed its 'chaal, charitra aur chehra' (ways, character and face). It is no more a party envisaged by Atal ji and (Lal Krishna) Advani ji and people of the state know this," Shukla told newspersons on her campaign trail. "There is no question of denying that I am Atal ji's niece. His teachings and courage are in my blood. I am guided by his principles. People in Rajnandgaon know that I will implement the model of good governance in the corruption-riddled state if the Congress wins election," said Shukla, a former BJP central office-bearer who quit the party in 2013 after over three decades of association.
She joined the Congress in February 2014 and unsuccessfully fought the Lok Sabha elections from the state's Bilaspur seat on the party ticket. As a BJP leader, she had won the Lok Sabha elections from Janjgir in 2004, but lost in 2009 from Korba. The Congress has now fielded her from Rajnandgaon, the chief minister's home turf. "Raman Singh calls me his sister. He claims that he is following the ideology of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As far as I know this (state) government is miles apart from Atal ji's teaching. It is his (CM's) double standard," Shukla alleged. Both Shukla and Singh are seeking votes in the name of Vajpayee and his good-governance principles. Shukla also accused Singh of ignoring his home constituency, alleging that no development has taken place in the area in the past five years.
"It is a sorry state of affairs in Rajnandgaon where people face scarcity of water and access to other necessities. Corruption is rampant in the administration. People will root out this corrupt government this time from the state," she said. (PTI)