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State Cong squirms as HRD Min lauds C'garh CM

State Cong squirms as HRD Min lauds C'garh CM

Author: Express News Services
Publication: The Indian Express
Dated: February 25, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/state-cong-squirms-as-hrd-min-lauds-cgarh-cm/428334/

Already on the backfoot after its defeat in the Assembly election, the Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh is facing further embarrassment due to the appreciation BJP CM Raman Singh continues to receive from visiting Union Ministers.

The partymen are particularly uneasy after party veteran and union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's comment at an National Institute of Technology (NIT) function had a word of praise for the CM, especially as Lok Sabha elections are around the corner. Incidentally, even before the Assembly polls the state Congress leaders had registered their disapproval of comments by union ministers Shivraj Patil, Manishankar Aiyar, Ram Vilas Paswan and Raghuvansh Prasad lauding the performance of the Raman Singh government.

HRD minister Arjun Singh had said, "Perhaps, we had erred in realising the potential for growth in Chhattisgarh. We did not recognise the vast natural resources available in the region. But now, it's in the right hands and development is properly defined. A new chapter has begun for the overall development of the state." The BJP government's propaganda machinery too did its job well as local media played up Arjun Singh's remark about the state's resources being in the "right hands". Singh's assertion at another function that the Congress would improve its position and win more seats in the Lok Sabha polls from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh went almost unnoticed.

"We have already brought this to the notice of AICC general secretary M Veerappa Moily that statements by union ministers, praising the BJP Government and its functioning, are not politically correct as it will only help take the sting out of the Congress campaign for the elections", said a state Congress spokesman, on condition of anonymity.

Pointing out that Moily had promised to take up the matter with the party high command after few ministers of UPA government showered praises on BJP government before the November polls, he felt that the comment by party heavyweights like Arjun Singh would reflect badly on the party campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. "BJP has kicked off their campaign for Lok Sabha polls through their ongoing "kisan sammelan" across the state as its leaders are now quoting union ministers at public meetings to drive home their point that the state's development was on the right track", he pointed out.

When contacted, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CGPCC) president Dhanendra Sahu refused to comment on the matter. "The party high command knows everything. I don't think anyone here has to worry about it," he said.

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