Raipur: With assembly elections approaching, the activities of political parties in the state are intensifying. In a surprising development, Chhattisgarhi superstar and Padmashri awardee Anuj Sharma has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the major opposition party in the state on Thursday in a grand induction ceremony at the party office in Raipur. He had earlier maintained that he would not join any party.
Along with Anuj, Padmashri Radheshyam Barle, former IAS RPS Tyagi, and several other artists were among the 449 people who joined the BJP on Thursday.
Massive induction ceremony
Anuj Sharma was inducted in a gala ceremony along with the other newcomers from various fields. Along with BJP in-charge Om Mathur, state president Arun Sao, former three-time chief minister Dr Raman Singh and several other BJP party members were present at the ceremony.
More than four hundred popular Chhattisgarhi artists, stars, engineers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, social workers, businessmen and hundreds of students studying in different colleges have joined BJP, according to the party spokesperson Amit Chimnani.
The massive induction has created many speculations in Chhattisgarh in terms of political gains. BJP leaders maintained that these types of drives will boost the party's strength ahead of polls and will also help in giving a befitting reply to Congress, Chimnani said.
Meanwhile, common people also feel that Anuj Sharma's induction to the party will give an additional edge to the BJP which is continuously losing ground against the rural Chhattisgarhiya avatar of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
Congress leaders rejected the claims of gaining ground and said induction of actors like Anuj Sharma will make no impact on the growing base and popularity of Congress in the state.
The Congress leaders said in the last four and half years Congress rigorously made efforts to revive its roots and established better connectivity in rural areas as well as in urban areas. Secondly, Congress' traditional vote bank were rural folks, and BJP's inactivity there gave them an edge. Political pundits, however, feel that analysts should adopt a wait-and-watch approach amid the rapidly changing political scenario.
"When Raman Singh was the chief minister, Sharma used to sit at his residence. Today, if he has joined BJP, it is not a big deal. Majority of figures who joined BJP, earlier worked for BJP in polls," CM Baghel said.