Free Press Journal

Congress changes its Lok Sabha candidate for the fourth time


Raipur: The Congress has changed its Raipur parliamentary constituency candidate for the fourth time and re-nominated its veteran leader Satyanarayan Sharma.

“The party’s central election committee took a decision on this late last night,” Sharma told PTI today.

Initially, Chhaya Verma from the Kurmi community was declared as the party’s nominee on International Women’s Day on March 8, only to be replaced later by MLA and former minister Satyanarayan Sharma, forcing the Kurmi community to oppose his candidature.

Subsequently, Chhaya Verma was given the green signal to contest from Raipur once again. The change in candidature annoyed a section of Congress leaders. Sharma’s supporters ransacked the party’s headquarters on March 16 and staged a protest demanding his candidature.

Late night yesterday, Sharma was re-nominated as a party candidate from Raipur. He is pitted against former union minister and six-time BJP MP Ramesh Bais.

Speaking to reporters, Sharma criticised sitting MP Ramesh Bais, accusing him of being “inactive” even after being elected six times as a Member of Parliament.

“People of the Raipur Lok Sabha seat are fed up with Ramesh Bais who has been inactive even after being elected six times. He had never raised local issues in Parliament,” he said, adding that he would soon decide when to file his nomination papers.

Chhattisgarh will see a three-phased polling for its 11 parliamentary constituencies next month. Maoist affected Bastar region will go to polls during the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 10, while Kanker will witness polls on April 17, along with Mahasamund and Rajnandgaon.

The rest of the seven Lok Sabha seats like Surguja and Raigarh (ST), Janjgir-Champa (SC) Raipur, Durg, Korba and Bilaspur (Gen) will see polling on April 24.