Renaming district sparks protests in Chhattisgarh town

Hundreds of people in Chhattisgarh's Baloda Bazar town on Thursday took to the streets against the state government for renaming a district.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party blamed the Congress for instigating the protest. Chief Minister Raman Singh had announced nine new districts, including Baloda Bazar in August.

However, he renamed the district Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara at a formal inaugural function on Wednesday, triggering widespread protests in the town, on Thursday.

Reports confirmed that hundreds of people burnt tyres and raised slogans against the government. The protesters also damaged a few private vehicles. Officials at the police headquarters, said the situation of the town was "very tense".

Extra troopers were deployed to handle any untoward incidents. The police staged flag marches in the town. Bharatiya Janta Party leader Ramesh bias blamed the Congress for the protests, saying the party feels that formation of the new district, Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara, will further weaken it in the area which is carved out of Raipur district.

Congress state president Nandkumar Patel said, "The decision for formation of nine new districts was taken by the BJP government in a haste and the local people and other political parties were not taken into confidence, that's why people in Baloda Bazar area are taking to the streets."

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