Facing first electoral challenge in Bastar region after the May 25 Darbha attack,the Chhattisgarh Congress is hit by fresh infighting that again emerges from the camp of former chief minister Ajit Jogi.
On Thursday,the state Congress suspended four of his staunch supporters for six years after they were found campaigning against the party candidate in nagar panchayat bypolls in Keshkal region of Kondagaon district in Bastar division. Hours later,Jogi sent a letter to acting PCC chief Charan Das Mahant asking him to lead the campaign and devote at least two days for campaign to ensure victory. He also marked its copy to the state Congress in-charge B K Hariprasad.
Keshkal nagar panchayat is going for polls on June 24. While Congress candidate is Mamta Chandrakar,a former party member,Shahina Memon,is contesting as an Independent candidate. Shahina and her brother-in-law Amin Memon are staunch Jogi supporters and she was earlier expected to be the Congress candidate for the seat. When Chandrakar was given the ticket,party leaders allege,Jogi camp decided to put her as the Independent to cut into party votes. Subsequently,Amin and his other supporters campaigned for her that led to their suspension.
Some Congress members were campaigning against the party candidate. They have been suspended, said former Kondagaon MLA and local tribal leader Phulo Devi Netam,who was the part of the Congress convoy that faced the Maoist attack.
A month has not passed since the attack that killed several Congress leaders and pushed the party to a crisis in Chhattisgarh but the party has hardly seen any respite from infighting.