Raipur: Launching an attack on Rahul Gandhi, poll-bound Chhattishgarh’s chief minister Raman Singh on Saturday alleged the Congress chief was “sort of an entertainment" for people in the state and his campaign could be detrimental to his own party.

Ahead of the crucial first phase of voting in the state on Monday, Singh said Gandhi does not know anything about Chhattisgarh and his rallies would not help the Congress draw any significant votes.

Singh’s counter-attack came a day after the Congress president, during his election campaign on Friday, accused Singh of indulging in graft and of doing any work only after taking “permission from his 10-15 industrialist friends".

“Rahul does not know anything about Chhattisgarh. People of Chhattisgarh do not take him seriously. He is sort of an entertainment for them," Singh said.

Singh, the chief minister of the tribal-dominated state for a record 15 years out of its 18-year history, said Gandhi’s presence in the state would not dent poll prospects of the BJP, but might prove detrimental to his own Congress party.

While there was no immediate comment from the Congress on the latest jibe at its party chief, the allegations levelled by various political parties had often become personal amid a rising election fever in the country’s political landscape.

While the Congress had accused the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in various states of indulging in crony capitalism, Gandhi launched an aggressive campaign centred around these charges for the five poll-bound states, including Chhattisgarh. The saffron party denied these charges and levelled counter-allegations of corruption and crony-capitalism being things of past when the Congress was in power. Gandhi has been actively campaigning in Chhattisgarh where voting will be done in two phases — on November 12 for 18 seats (including 12 in naxal-affected areas) and on November 20 for the remaining 72 seats.

Voting in Singh’s own constituency Rajnandgaon, where the Congress gave ticket to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece and former BJP leader Karuna Shukla, will also take place on Monday.

During his campaign rallies on Friday, Gandhi had hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Singh over various issues, including lack of development in Chhattisgarh.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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