A charged up Ajit jogi, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Thursday, vowed to contest against Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party from any constituency in the State including Singh's home constituency of Kawardha.
Flush from his recent victory over the saffron party in the Kota assembly bye-election from where his wife Dr Renu Jogi won the seat with a hefty margin over her nearest BJP rival, the wily former chief minister took a dig at Chief Minister Raman Singh while interacting with media persons, that, "Though my party men and leaders are clamouring for Raman Singh's resignation over the Kota debacle the BJP suffered, I for one would prefer that Dr Raman Singh continue as chief minister as it would definitely prove fruitful for the Congress in the forthcoming elections in the State. He's our best bet…"
Dr Renu Jogi, his son Amit Jogi, Nand Kumar Patel and other leaders were present with Jogi.
He further said that it was unfortunate that due to some reason or the other, elections could not be held in Marwahi, which assembly seat he had vacated to enter the Lok Sabha, a couple of years back.
He charged that the ruling BJP party in the state had "snatched the democratic rights of the people of Marwahi and challenged the ruling party to hold elections at the earliest there.
Jogi pointed out that despite the ruling BJP utilising its power clout and throwing in large sums of money to lure the poor people in Kota to vote for its candidate, the Congress candidate, Dr Renu Jogi won with a record margin of more than 25, 000 votes.
"Almost all the top BJP state ministers and other leaders were in Kota and they had distributed silver ornaments worth Rs 2 crores and blankets apart from hard cash and liquor to the poor people.
Spot observers there had told me, the BJP had spent a staggering Rs 50 crore in its attempt to win over the Kota electorate," he charged.
He further pointed out that the Congress party High Command had sanctioned Rs 3 lakhs to Dr Renu Jogi to contest the Kota bye-poll. The remaining amount was mustered by his partymen, MLAs and well wishers in Kota, he claimed.
Answering a question on the recent massive Salwa Judum rally in which nearly 1.5 lakh tribals participated in naxal infested Dantewada district of the State, Jogi said he was not against any people's movement, but, "when the movement gets derailed and in which hundreds of innocent tribals are brutally killed either by the naxalites or by pro-Salwa Judum activists, I will not support it and demand it be called off", he said.
Jogi further charged that large scale irregularities in the supply of food rations are being committed in the relief camps where tribals have been herded into by the State government and pro-salwa judum activists in Dantewada and Bijapur districts.
He further charged that "young girls and women sheltered in these relief camps are being forcibly taken away in the evenings and nights by security forces and others to be exploited."