Sunday, Nov 30, 2003
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By Aarti Dhar
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, campaigning in his constituency, Marwahi, on Saturday.
"I am the Chief Minister for the rest of the State. For you, I am just a humble servant who has promised to make Marwahi a model constituency,'' he tells groups of villagers as he passes through the narrow, dusty lanes, talking to people, listening to their problems and shaking hands with enthusiastic children.
"It is you who have to take care of Marwahi. Last time you elected me for three years by 52,000 votes, this time the election is for five years, that means the wages (votes in this case) have to be doubled,'' he says. After a two-minute stop-over at Barod, he moves on to Bagrar which was until two years ago a BJP bastion.
Beginning his trip at 6 p.m., he goes around the constituency until the wee hours of Saturday morning and then again until the end of campaigning, before driving down to Raipur for a break from hectic touring.
He, nevertheless, made it a point to stop at the house of a once close party worker, Ganesh, who recently joined the Nationalist Congress Party. Exchanging a brief word with him and accepting a slip from a child demanding a cricket set, Mr. Jogi drove out of the village.
Mr. Jogi on the day of filing his nomination papers had announced that he would not come to his constituency for campaigning and `his' people had wanted him to concentrate on other parts of the State. It is his son who has been camping here for the past one month.
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