BJP had an extensive campaign planned, using religious leaders Asaram Bapu and Baba Ramdev. “I am Bapu’s disciple and student. God has given the avatar super power,” said Raman Singh while attending a religious congregation in July. The Chief Minister had even invited Bapu on a tour of the State, presumably before the elections. but these plans went askew after the Bapu’s not-so-religious activities.
Recently, the Election Commission played spoilsport over plans of another mega tour, insisting that if Baba Ramdev, while conducting his Yoga camps, promoted any political party then that party would have to fund his trip. “Voters will destroy the party’s pride”, was reportedly Ramdev’s parting shot to the Congress, before he left Chhattisgarh.
Off in a huff
The man who played a crucial role in shaping the Congress in Bastar division, Mankuram Sodi has left the party after his son was denied a ticket. The five-time MLA and three-time MP, is believed to have significant clout in the area, but the Congress reportedly refused to budge over seat allocation. Mr. Sori’s son, Shankar Sori, an ex-Minister is reportedly planning to contest as an independent candidate.
A royal backseat
After a lot of noise in the local media about the royal family of Bastar’s participation in the polls after 50 years, no seats were allotted to the family. “But we never asked for one,” said the scion of the family, Kamal Chandra Bhanj Deo. “We said we would participate to support the BJP,” the young king added, soon after the first list of candidates was released. Mr. Deo however, met with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi recently. “We discussed developmental issues in Bastar,” Mr. Deo said.
The Bastar winner
The popular rooster fighters of Bastar recently named two roosters Jogi and Raman, and made them fight. Jogi, the killer rooster, exterminated Raman in well under a minute and fetched the gamblers banking on him nearly a lakh. Reportedly, no one was interested in naming any of the roosters Mahant, after the PCC president.