The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Neighbour ‘shame’ is Marandi pride

Ranchi, Sept. 6: The state unit of the BJP has sought the services of its Chhattisgarh counterpart to help salvage the tottering image of Babulal Marandi’s government.

The Chhattisgarh BJP has not only heaped praise on the BJP-led regime in Jharkhand but also presented Ajit Jogi’s performance in an extremely poor light.

The stand of the BJP’s Chhattisgarh unit was expected. What is surprising though is the fact that it has chosen to carry the message to the neighbouring Jharkhand at a time when Marandi is facing attack from all sides for his poor record, especially on law and order.

Both governments will complete two years in November.

Comparisons between the two states, which came into existence with Uttarakhand, have often been drawn with Jogi beating Marandi hands down if the quantum of implementing development projects is any yardstick.

Officially, the Jharkhand BJP said Chhattisgarh unit chief and Union minister Raman Singh made a statement because he had met Marandi just before he left for the Mumbai “road show”.

“Singh was here recently and his statement is simply a reflection of his perception of the Marandi government. There is a world of difference between the general perception about the Jogi government and the ground reality in Chhattisgarh. The respective legacies of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh that the two states inherited should also be kept in mind,” said state BJP spokesperson Umashankar Kedia.

But party sources in Ranchi confirmed that they had approached the Raipur office to present a dismal picture of the Jogi government to counter the onslaught on Marandi’s performance. “People in Jharkhand were being told about Jogi’s efficiency as a chief minister. Such a depiction was not doing any good to our party’s government in Jharkhand. So we decided on this method,” said a party leader.

The Chhattisgarh BJP’s charges against the Jogi government range from “loot of the treasury” to “conspiring to bulldoze business”. Party spokesperson Rasik Parmar said from Raipur that the Jogi regime had failed to give roads a facelift and despite being a power-surplus state, did not provide uninterrupted electricity to them.

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