Chhatisgarh turncoats to step up BJP campaign against Kumari Selja

The political pundits predicted a tough contest between the two former chiefs of the state Congress and as the poll battle remains evenly poised.
Kumari Selja.
Kumari Selja.

RAIPUR: The BJP has reached out to former Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh to campaign against its arch-rival candidate Kumari Selja at Sirsa Lok Sabha constituency in Haryana.

Interestingly, most of these ex-Congress leaders have worked with former union minister Selja when she was the party in-charge in Chhattisgarh and now will campaign against her.

The saffron party has roped-in at least a dozen leaders who deserted Congress and joined the BJP after the Assembly poll debacle in December last year. After the defeat, several “disgruntled” Congress leaders, office-bearers and senior cadres of the party organisations had then joined the BJP in Chhattisgarh.

Selja succeeded P L Punia in December 2022 as Chhattisgarh state in-charge and after the results of the Assembly polls, was replaced by a former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot on December 23 last year.

Congress has nominated its general secretary Selja as its candidate from the SC-reserved Sirsa constituency. She is pitted against the BJP’s Ashok Tanwar, who was former Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee and president of Youth Congress. Tanwar joined Aam Aadmi Party in 2022 and later resigned to join BJP in January this year.

The political pundits predicted a tough contest between the two former chiefs of the state Congress and as the poll battle remains evenly poised. Both had earlier been elected as the Member of Parliament from Sirsa constituency.

The BJP insiders stated that the party will secure positive votes in its favour, but will leave nothing to chance to boost an intense election campaign to clinch maximum Lok Sabha seats. Some of the prominent ex-Congress leaders who left to campaign in Sirsa seat included former MLA Shishupal Sori, ex-JCCJ MLA Pramod Sharma, former general secretary Chandrashekhar Shukla, state president of OBC wing Chauleshwar Chandrakar, ex-Mayor Bilaspur Wani Rao, Tulsi Sahu, Anita Rawte among others.

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