RAIPUR: Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi on Monday floated a new political outfit by releasing the manifesto of a party he did not name.
The declaration was made at a Mahasabha the one-time Congress chief Sonia Gandhi loyalist convened in his hometown of Marwaha in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh.
Despite being warned of disciplinary action against those who attend the gathering called by Jogi, four sitting Congress legislators (including wife and son) and three ex-MLAs.
The development comes days after he called the Congress Chattisgarh unit “B team” of BJP in state.
While the 70-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician steered clear of criticising any Congress leaders, his son Amit attacked the state Congress leadership without naming anyone.
The father-son duo, however, lashed out at the Raman Singh-led government alleging poor governance and corruption. “To save the rights and honour of Chhattisgarh the need was felt for a new party that will end ‘Raman Raj’,” he said.
Political analysts view the move as an attempt to keep the option for negotiation with Congress open.
Jogi’s move is being viewed as an attempt to insure the political future of his son, who was expelled from the Congress in January for allegedly trying to swing a by-election in BJP’s favour.
Similar action was recommended against Jogi, too, but the party’s disciplinary committee hasn’t taken any decision so far.
The BJP, that has been in power in the mineral-rich state for over 12 years, did not pay heed to Jogi’s decision. “Congress is heading for a split and will not have any impact on our party,” chief minister Raman Singh said.
Meanwhile, observers said it is too early to predict who will be hurt by plans.
“But Jogi factor remains relevant and the stakes are higher in constituencies with substantial vote base of Dalits, tribals and villagers,” political analyst Sunil Kumar said.