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Congress list of names bears Ajit Jogi stamp

EC may have hauled Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi over the coals for the alleged bias of his officials, but he has had his way in the distribution of tickets, reports Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2003 13:18 IST

The Election Commission may have hauled Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi over the coals over the alleged bias of his officials, but he has had his way in the distribution of tickets.

In the first list of 73 names the Congress released on Friday, 63 belong to his camp. Jogi also figures in the list. He will contest from the Marwahi reserved constituency, scotching speculation that he might shift to a general seat to spike the controversy over his tribal status.

Out of the 17 seats kept pending, nearly half-a-dozen are being claimed by senior leader Shyama Charan Shukla. Only three Shukla loyalists figure in Friday's list, including his son Amitesh from Rajim. Amitesh is a sitting legislator and a minister.

Senior leader Motilal Vora's son, Arun, has been given the ticket from Durg. Arun had lost the election the last time. Four nominees of Lok Sabha member Mahant Charan Das are in the list.

The list couldn't have pleased the chief minister's adversaries. Criticised for his dictatorial style of functioning, Jogi revealed his iron hand by renominating 45 legislators. Only five MLAs have been dropped, although some more may be axed.

Among those dropped is a minister, Vidan Mishra. Mishra is reportedly close to V.C. Shukla, Jogi's bete noire.

The chief minister also overrode objections by fielding Rajya Sabha member Ramadhar Kashyak from Akaltara.

But he faced stiff opposition when he moved to nominate all the 12 BJP legislators who had joined the party recently. Only five were given tickets, including Tarun Chatterjee (Raipur Rural) and S. Nayak (Saria).

The list has 30 Scheduled Tribes, 14 OBCs, seven Scheduled Castes, seven women, two Muslims and a Sikh. One ST candidate, Bodh Ram Kanwar, will contest from a general seat, Katghora. No Brahmin has been fielded from the Bilaspur division.

The inclusion of certain names has sprung a surprise. Mahant Ram Sundar Das Tiwari (Pamgarh) is seen as a non-political personality while Rashmi Gabhel (Chandrapur) had earlier been expelled from the party.

First Published: Nov 08, 2003 13:18 IST