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To target Cong, BJP aims at Jogi family

With Ajit Jogi as the star campaigner for Congress, BJP's poll pitch is turning Jogi-centric. Ejaz Kaiser reports.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2013 16:25 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

With the appearance of former chief minister Ajit Jogi as the star campaigner for the Congress party in Chhattisgarh, the poll pitch of the state BJP is turning Jogi-centric. Recently, the party issued an advertisement in leading regional newspapers comparing Jogi’s three-year Congress government with the ten-year rule of the BJP.

“Earlier there was only one Jogi. Now two Jogis (Renu Jogi and Amit Jogi) are in the fray. The people of the state still have not forgotten the three-year rule of Jogi government”, said BJP national general secretary, Chhattisgarh in-charge J P Nadda.

In 2003, the BJP, then in opposition, had launched scathing attack on Jogi for allegedly creating an environment of “fear and terror” during his regime. The dispute over his tribal status, alleged ‘corruption’ and ‘bad governance’ of the three years of Congress government from 2000-2003 were then raked up. In the 2013 assembly elections, those days are here again.

The targetting of Jogi has picked since the Maoist attack in Darbha (Bastar) this May which wiped off the party’s top rung. The wheel-chair bound senior Congress leader’s influence in ticket distribution is obvious.

“Our assessment is that Jogi’s trusted supporters are in direct fight against our candidates in not less than forty of the 90 assembly segments”, said a senior BJP leader.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has also stated that Jogi’s entry will remind the people of his ineffective government in contrast to the BJP’s good governance during the past ten years. The BJP’s poll machinery is at work with propaganda literature to underline the point. In a recent advertisement, Jogi’s image as a face of the Congress government in Chhattisgarh was used as an illustrated sketch.

The Congress has countered the move. “The misguided advertisement clearly shows the growing apprehensions of the BJP as it fears the Congress party will now secure the people’s mandate to form government in Chhattisgarh”, party media-incharge and general secretary Ramesh Varlyani told HT.

Jogi was not available for comments.