Ajit Jogi won’t fight polls: ‘Allies need him for campaign’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ajit-jogi-wont-fight-chhatisgarh-assembly-polls-5409908/

Ajit Jogi won’t fight polls: ‘Allies need him for campaign’

Jogi had earlier indicated that he would contest two seats and had declared that he would contest against Chief Minister Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon.

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After the announcement on Friday, the Congress said that the decision to not contest polls shows that Jogi could not be trusted, and that the CJC was looking to aid the BJP in the elections. (Express Photo)

The Chhattisgarh Janata Congress on Friday announced that party president and former chief minister Ajit Jogi will not contest the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.

Jogi had earlier indicated that he would contest two seats and had declared that he would contest against Chief Minister Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon.

After the announcement on Friday, the Congress said that the decision to not contest polls shows that Jogi could not be trusted, and that the CJC was looking to aid the BJP in the elections.

Ajit Jogi’s son and MLA from Marwahi Amit Jogi on Friday announced that the coalition partners — the CPI and BSP — had requested Ajit Jogi to not contest the elections.

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A statement by the CJC said that the consensus among coalition partners was that the CJC chief should not tie himself down to one seat and will be needed for campaigning across the state. Jogi is the chief ministerial face for the coalition in the state.

In February this year, Ajit Jogi had declared that he would fight the elections from Rajnandgaon against the Chief Minister. He had also said that if Raman Singh chose to change seats, he would follow him.

The CJC said that had the party been fighting the polls without any allies, Jogi would have been free to contest against Raman Singh.

Responding to the CJC’s announcement, Congress leaders T S Singhdeo and Charandas Mahant alleged that Jogi had never intended to contest against the chief minister and that his party is the “B team of the BJP”.

The Congress said that Jogi’s claim that his party is not aiding the BJP has fallen flat after the announcement to not contest the polls. The CJC had been using Jogi’s contest against Raman Singh to prove that they have no association with the BJP.

Meanwhile, Amit Jogi’s wife Richa Jogi has joined the BSP and is likely contest from Akaltara. Amit Jogi is certain to contest on a CJC ticket.

On the other hand, Ajit Jogi’s wife Renu Jogi is part of the Congress and is an MLA from Kota. Sources said she has applied to contest from Kota again on a Congress ticket.