Chhattisgarh by-poll: Tough contest on cards in Ajit Jogi’s bastion Marwahi
In a direct fight between ruling Congress and the BJP, the polling for by-election for Marwahi constituency in Chhattisgarh will be held on Tuesday. The by-poll was necessitated after Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) MLA and former chief minister Ajit Jogi passed away in May this year.
The constituency has been the bastion of Jogi for last two decades but this is the first time in last 20 years when the Jogis are not in the fray because Amit Jogi’s nomination from the JCC was rejected.
Jogi’s nomination was rejected based on a high-power committee report which found that he was not a tribal. The nomination papers of Jogi’s wife Richa Jogi, who had filed nomination for the same seat, were also cancelled by the district collector on the same ground
On Saturday, the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (Jogi) had extended support to the BJP candidate alleging that the ruling Congress has insulted late Ajit Jogi. The JCC has four MLAs in the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly.
In another development on Sunday, a couple of JCC MLAs extended their support to Congress in a press conference in Marwahi.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel led the campaign for Congress and visited the constituency four times in last one month. The BJP national vice president Raman Singh led the campaign for the party and addressed rallies.
The Congress highlighted several pro-farmer and pro-tribal initiatives of the state government including the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojna, cow dung procurement scheme, distribution of forest rights certificates, and relief measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are winning the Marwahi by-poll from a margin of at least 30,000 votes. The people have understood that the present government is pro poor and pro tribal and hence they have decided to vote for us,” said state minister Jai Singh Agarwal, in-charge of the Congress for Marwahi by-poll.
While the BJP accused the Congress government of failing on all fronts, it also alleged that the law and order situation in the state has deteriorated.
As many as 1,90,907 voters - 93,694 males, 97,209 females and four from the third gender - will exercise their franchise for which 286 polling stations have been set up. Of these, 126 have been recognized as sensitive.
The counting of votes will take place on November 10.
It is worth mentioning that both the BJP and the Congress have fielded doctors in the Marwahi constituency. The BJP fielded a tribal surgeon, Gambhir Singh, as its candidate while the ruling Congress a veteran doctor Dr Krishan Kumar Dhruw, who had a long stint as the block medical officer (BMO) in the area.
“Everyone knows that Congress has snatched the democratic right of the Jogi family which should be condemned. After the support of Jogi’s party, we are sure of winning because it has been the bastion of Jogis. Secondly, people of Marwahi know that the present government has done nothing for them,” said senior BJP leader and spokesperson, Sacchinand Upsane.