THE BSP on Tuesday announced candidates for six of 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh, throwing into question their alliance with the Ajit and Amit Jogi-led JCCJ in the state.
The candidates were announced for Bastar, Kanker, Raigarh, Durg, Surguja, and Janjgir Champa. The last of these six seats — an SC reserved seat — is where the BSP is supposed to be the strongest. Its candidate, Dauram Ratnakar, is a three-time MLA who has contested Lok Sabha elections previously.
Janjgir Champa is a seat with a rich political legacy — it was the first seat where BSP founder Kanshi Ram contested in the Lok Sabha polls. While the JCCJ has insisted that their alliance with the BSP is “still in effect”, leaders have admitted the BSP did not consult them before the candidates were announced, and that these issues will have to be “sorted out”. Click here for election stories
Amit Jogi said, “The alliance is still very much in place from the Assembly elections. Any major decisions will be taken by the Parliamentary board on March 23, and we have a meeting with the BSP on March 25. The coalition is still very much in effect.”
Asked if the JCCJ was upset at not being taken into confidence when the BSP was declaring these candidates, Jogi said, “Not at all. This is just miscommunication if anything.”
While the contest in Chhattisgarh is largely set to be a straight fight between the Congress and BJP, the BSP-JCCJ alliance has some influence in at least four seats. Meanwhile, state BSP leaders said they had little knowledge whether an alliance was in place, that they were waiting for word from the party leadership.