ANI Photo | Bhupesh Baghel accepts Amit Shah’s challenge, says ‘Chhattisgarhia’ is not scared

Ahead of the Chhattisgarh assembly polls to be held this month, a verbal duel has erupted between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and state Chief Minister Bhupesh Bahel.
Earlier today, CM Baghel, responding to Shah’s challenge for a debate said, “A ‘Chhattisgarhia’ is not scared”.
Taking to ‘X’, the Chief Minister said, “Your challenge is accepted Mr Amit Shah ji! You tell me the stage, time, date… I will come”.
“There should be a debate on your scandals of 15 years and our work of 5 years. A Chhattisgarhia is not scared, will wait for your reply”, he added.
Earlier, while addressing a rally in the state, Amit Shah said, “How come you are seeking our report card? I challenge you if you have the courage, to come and debate with us over your work in the last five years and that of Modiji in the past 15 years”.
The Chhattisgarh assembly polls are scheduled to be held in two phases, i.e. on November 7 and 17.
The counting of votes will be done on December 3.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday launched the Congress manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections, promising a caste-based census in the state if voted back.
“We pledge to conduct a caste census in the state if voted back. The census exercise would cover the Scheduled Caste, tribal castes, backward classes, general category and minorities,” Baghel announced after unveiling the party’s manifesto in Raipur on Sunday.
He said a caste-based census would enable people from the backward and underprivileged sections to derive the benefits of welfarist schemes and initiatives.”A census of this kind will not only bring the backward classes to the forefront of the government’s welfarist priorities but also help us conceive and implement schemes for them. A caste census is the need of the hour,” CM Baghel said.
In the manifesto, the Congress has also promised to buy paddy at the rate of Rs 3200 per quintal under the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana’, if elected again.
“We have also promised to waive off farmers’ loans and purchase paddy at Rs. 3200/quintal as part of the input subsidy under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana,” the CM said, adding that the party will also provide electricity, up to 200 units, free of cost.
Earlier, on Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the BJP isn’t opposed to a caste-based census and will take a call on the same after discussions within the party.
Speaking to reporters in Raipur after unveiling the party’s manifesto for the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, Shah said, “We don’t practice politics of appeasement for votes. We will take an appropriate decision (on caste census) after holding discussions (within the party). The BJP never opposed a caste census but decisions have to be taken after giving it a lot of thought.”
Meanwhile, the rate of paddy has taken a significant place in the Chhattisgarh polls.
Provided that 70 pc of the total population of the state is engaged in farming, the paddy rates are likely to serve as “game-changers” in the polls.
At present, the rate of paddy given by the Baghel government in the state stands at Rs 2,640 while the BJP has announced to provide Rs 3,100 for the same if voted to power.
Countering the same, the Baghel government has announced to extend the rates to Rs 3,200, if voted to power

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