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Will contest polls against CM Raman Singh: Ajit Jogi

Ajit Jogi said he had decided to fight against the CM as attempts were made for his “political murder” during CM Raman Singh’s rule of over 14 years in the state.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2018 21:38 IST
Ritesh  Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Ajit Jogi,Janata Congress Chhattisgarh,Raman Singh
Founder-President, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) Ajit Jogi (HT File Photo)

Former chief minister and president of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) Ajit Jogi has decided to pit himself against incumbent CM Raman Singh in the assembly elections slated later this year.

In an interview with a local Hindi daily, Jogi announced his decision and predicted that the main contest for the state’s 90 assembly seats would be between the ruling BJP and his party.

He said the official announcement of his candidature would be made at a rally in Rajnandgaon, the home constituency of Singh, on February 11.

“ Meine faisala kiya hai kee main mukhyamatri ke khilaaf hee ladunga. Vo jahan se ladenge vahee se ladunga (I have decided to contest elections against the CM from wherever he files nomination),” he said in the interview.

Later on Sunday afternoon , Jogi released a video confirming his decision to fight against CM Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon constituency.

Jogi said he had decided to fight against the CM as attempts were made for his “political murder” during Singh’s rule of over 14 years in the state.

He, however, ruled out any coalition with the Congress and said his party would fight alone.

In June 2016, Jogi formed the JCC after resigning from the Congress, about five months after his son was expelled from the grand-old party for six years over his alleged role in fixing a by-election, which the BJP won.

Jogi is locked in a legal tussle with the BJP over his tribal status for the past one year. A high-powered committee, which the state government formed following a Chattisgarh high court order, in its report in June last year observed Jogi is not a tribal.

The high court had asked the state government to form the committee while hearing a writ filed by BJP MP Nand Kumar Sai who claimed the former chief minister attained the tribal status through “fake” documents.

The court, last week, however, directed the state government to “reconstitute” the committee, giving a relief to Jogi and his family.

Meanwhile, the BJP said it was not worried over Jogi’s decision to contest against Singh.

“Jogi should first think before he speaks. He had earlier said that he would fight against Congress state president Bhupesh Baghel and now he is saying he will fight against CM … Kahan kahan se ladenge ( from how many places he will contest ? ) …People have seen his government for three years and they know Jogi ji ,” said BJP spokesperson Sacchinand Upasane .

Meanwhile, Jogi’s party is raising funds for the ensuing polls by holding paid dinners for his supporters. Two such dinners have taken place in Raipur in last one month. On February 11, another such dinner will be organised in Rajnandgaon.

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 21:38 IST