Ahead of the State Congress elections, the Chhattisgarh Congress is facing bitter tussle between rival groups of PCC chief Bhupesh Baghel and former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi. Over the last few days, they have publicly sparred over the party’s strategy for the PDS scam and blamed each other for taking the battle decisively to the BJP government.
Ever since the PDS scam broke in February, Baghel has almost daily taken a press conference and attacked Chief Minister Raman Singh for corruption. He also undertook a seven-day Padyatra, raised the issue in Vidhan Sabha and demanded Singh’s resignation.
The tussle began when Jogi recently told reporters that the mere issuance of statements would not help the party and the Congress must now approach the court and ask for a through probe of the scam.
Baghel immediately hit back. Alleging a secret understanding between Raman Singh and Jogi, he said: “Why is Jogi concerned if we are speaking against the government? Has he ever spoken against Raman Singh?”
A day after, Jogi was more sarcastic in his reply: “I do not have such sanskars to use such language for partymen.” He cited Hindi and Urdu idioms and said that people get incensed when they are shown mirror.
Baghel countered: “What mirror is he talking about? I have already demanded a judicial probe a month ago. We are already planning to approach the court.”
Referring to Jogi who had announced ‘Sanyas’ last year before elections only to return and contest from his desired seat, Baghel said: “Should we stop people’s fight, take sanyas and do bhajan kirtan?”
Both these leaders are considered bitter rivals and both eye the PCC chief post in elections later this year. Their tussle has weakened the present fight of the Congress against the BJP government, which is battling the PDS scam.
Veteran Congress MLA Satyanarain Sharma said: “Both are targeting the government, but advocating different methods.”