Campaigning for second phase picks up in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Nov 16 (UNI) Campaigning for the second and last phase of Assembly elections in 51 constituencies of Chhattisgarh, scheduled for November 20, was gaining momentum with both the ruling BJP and the Congress pitting their senior leaders and star campaigners to woo the voters.

The BJP, which was ahead in the list of political leaders campaigning in the state, were front runners in election meetings.

The Congress, which showed some laxity in the first phase campaign, however, had roped in several leaders from other states to strengthen their canvassing.

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani, party president Rajnath Singh, vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and general secretary Sushma Swaraj, along with Chief Minister Raman Singh, were already holding several election meetings everyday.

Former BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi and several other party leaders would arrive within a day or two for campaigning.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will address three election meetings tomorrow, while party leaders like Digvijay Singh, Sriprakash Jaiswal and several others were touring various constituencies.

This would be the third visit of Mr Gandhi to Chhattisgarh for poll campaigning after Congress President Sonia Gandhi did not give any dates for the same in the state.

Star Congress compaigner Ajit Jogi was addressing eight to nine election meetings daily, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Rajsekhara Reddy and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupindra Singh Hooda had also put their strength for the party.

The BSP, which has fielded candidates from all 90 seats, organised a public meeting in Bilaspur today where the party supremo and Uttar Ptradesh Chief Minister Mayawati addressed voters.

Leaders of the CPI, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and other smaller parties were also campaigning in the state, though they were mainly going for village to village or door-to-door canvassing.

In the last phase on November 20, polling would be held in 51 constitutencies of eight districts of northern parts of the state.

The first phase of polling in 39 seats of 10 districts in southern parts of the state was held on November 14 during which 68 per cent electorate excercised their franchise.


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