Bastar's Maharaja joins BJP

Raipur, Aug 28 (IANS) Chhattisgarh's ruling BJP got a major fillip Wednesday as Kamalchand Bhanjdeo, the scion of Bastar's royal family, joined the party at a function held at state party headquarters.

The BJP was trying to woo Bhanjdeo for months as party's internal updated survey indicated that it would suffer jolt on at least five to six seats in Bastar region in assembly polls, scheduled in the state by the year-end.

The Congress, which is out of power since December 2003, was also desperate to bring Bhanjdeo into the party fold but it lost to BJP's poll strategists.

The massive tribal population of Bastar region which has 12 assembly seats, have a deep generations-old affection with Bastar royal family and in several seats the call of Kamalchand Bhanjdeo would decide the fate of candidates.

BJP sources say that party needs to repeat its 2008 poll performance this year to score a hat-trick. But the recent survey conducted by the BJP indicated that party would suffer defeats at as many as six seats in Bastar region mainly because of anti-incumbency against sitting legislators.

The BJP had won 11 seats out of Bastar's total 12 seats in 2008 and the Congress managed to pull off victory in Konta seat only where its nominee Kawasi Lakhma won by a margin of just 192 votes.