The Congress is a “formidable force” in Chhattisgarh and is capable of winning the assembly polls without an alliance, according to AICC general secretary in-charge of the state P L Punia.
“If it (alliance) happens, well and good, otherwise we are confident that the Congress party alone would be able to form the government very very comfortably,” he told PTI in an interview,” Punia told PTI in an interview. He added that the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Gondwana Ganatantra Party wield some influence in the state, but the Congress has not started any formal dialogue or interaction with them.
Punia was also confident that the lack of a mass leader in Chattisgarh for Congress will not hamper its chances in the assembly polls coming up this year. “We have important leaders in the OBC, in general caste, in tribals, and all over. So, we don't see any major problem that we do not have a towering personality as a leader of the party (in the state), but we have sufficient talent, sufficient expertise and sufficient leadership to take on the BJP.”
The senior Congress leader asserted that his party was on a strong footing in the state and claimed that the general impression about the BJP and the working of the state government under Chief Minister Raman Singh was that there was “rampant corruption”.
There are corruption charges against the entire Raman Singh family -- his wife, his son, his distant relations. And the entire Cabinet, I say with responsibility --- there are very serious charges of corruption against them and people are aware of itP L Punia, Congress leader
The people of Chhattisgarh expected that at least the schemes which were meant for poor people, the scheduled caste the scheduled tribes, would be implemented and the benefits would be delivered to them without any bias, but that did not happen, he said.
All these factors go against the BJP and with the background of losing by less than 1 percent vote share last time, the Congress is sure of emerging victorious in the assembly polls, Punia added.
“We have focussed our energies on strengthening the grassroots organisation at the booth-level. Even further down the booth-level, we trained the booth in-charges and held a training programme in 85 seats” Punia explained. He also expressed confidence of the Congress also forming governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in assembly polls slated for this year.
The Congress, which has 39 seats in the 91-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, is seeking to wrest power from the BJP which has ruled the state since its inception.