Friday, 29 August 2014

Chhattisgarh Congress chocked as candidate withdraws nomination at late minute

RAIPUR: Opposition Congress suffered a major jolt in Chhattisgarh when its candidate for Antagarh (ST) by-poll Manturam Pawar withdrew his nomination papers at the last minute, leaving the grand old party in a shock on Friday.

Manturam Pawar, a senior tribal leader, sprang a surprise by bowing out of contest by withdrawing his nomination papers and allegedly remained untraceable to senior leaders, who tried to reach him. Opposition Congress was gearing up to put up a tough fight in Antagarh (ST), where polling is scheduled for September 13 — the first by-poll after the BJP government retained power for the third consecutive time in assembly polls held in November last year.

Kanker district collector Alermelmangai D confirmed that Congress candidate Manturam Pawar withdrew his nomination papers. Pawar could not be reached for his comments.

Opposition Congress alleged that the ruling BJP might have lured Pawar to withdraw his nomination papers but maintained that the party would make a statement once it got to the bottom of the issue.

Pawar was a legislator between 1998-2003 during undivided Madhya Pradesh and later after formation of Chhattisgarh. In 2008 and 2013 polls, he lost the polls to BJP's Vikram Usendi. In 2008, Usendi managed a narrow win by a just 109 votes while in 2013 his margin significantly increased to more than 5000 votes.

By-poll to Antagarh (ST) seat was necessitated following resignation of Vikram Usendi from the Vidhan Sabha consequent to his election to the Lok Sabha in May this year.

As many as 14 candidates had filed their nomination papers for the by-poll but an independent candidate's papers were rejected during scrutiny.

BJP has fielded Bhojram Nag as its candidate while BJP's district unit's vice president Raghunath Kumeti had also entered the fray as a rebel candidate. Pawar,Madhya Pradesh,Lok Sabha,Congress,Chhattisgarh

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