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Baghel slams BJP, says 'divide and rule' plan will not work in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said the BJP’s plan of ‘divide and rule’ will not work in Chhattisgarh and hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his statement accusing the Congress of doing ‘appeasement’ politics for votes in the poll-bound state.

Talking to reporters at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur on Monday evening, Baghel said the opposition BJP was left with no issues to raise in the state, where elections for the 90-member assembly will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17.

The ruling Congress in the state has declared candidates for 30 seats so far.

Speaking at an election rally in Rajnandgaon earlier on Monday, Shah attacked the Baghel government over communal violence in Biranpur village of Bemetara district in April and said the ruling party will continue doing ‘appeasement’ politics for votes if it returns to power in Chhattisgarh after the polls.

Asked about Shah’s statement, Baghel said, “Action was taken in the (Biranpur) incident and the accused were arrested. Police have also submitted a chargesheet in the court and compensation has been announced for the victim by the government. They (BJP) are left with no issues to raise. They will speak on only those things in which they have PhD.”

On the Union Home Minister’s statement to hang upside down those who have committed corruption under the Congress rule, if the BJP came to power in the state, Baghel said the remark amounted to threatening his government.

”What he can do besides this. He was threatening an elected government. He has a PhD in all these things. This is Chhattisgarh where adivasis who follow adi (ancient) culture reside. Followers of (saints) Kabir and Guru Ghasidas live here. People here understand the language of love and brotherhood. The plan of divide and rule will not work here,” the CM said.

“Amit Shah ji wants to scare people and hand over Chhattisgarh to Adani, but he will not succeed in his efforts,” Baghel said.

State Congress president Deepak Baij accused the saffron party of trying to spread hatred in view of the upcoming elections.

“They always spit venom. For the last five years, they (BJP-led central government) tried to disrupt welfare schemes in the state and now during elections, they are spreading lies and venom. But it will have no impact. The Congress will register a historic win in the polls,” he said.

If Shah wants to punish the corrupt, he should first take action against former chief minister Raman Singh and his then-cabinet colleagues who were allegedly involved in graft (during 2003-2018 BJP regime in the state), Baij said.

Baghel and Baij later left for New Delhi to attend a party meeting slated on Tuesday.

“A meeting will be held for finalising candidates for some of the remaining seats. Then we will request the party high command to release all the names of remaining nominees as soon as possible. The list may be declared a day or two after Tuesday’s meeting,”Baij said.

(Published 17 October 2023, 03:15 IST)

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