With the state assembly elections just a month away, the Congress party has yet again suffered a major setback in Chattisgarh. Its senior leader and state executive president- Ram Dayal Uike- joined the BJP. The BJP President inducted Ram Dayal Uike into the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Raman Singh, in Bilaspur.
NDTV has quoted Chattisgarh Chief Bhupesh Baghel saying that during election season politicians switching side is a common thing. He also said, “We met a few days ago but Ram Dayal Uike did not say anything.” Ram Dayal Uike is a four time MLA from Pali, Chattisgarh.
Earlier, in September Mayawati has snubbed the Congress in Chattisgarh. The BSP declared to contest in the upcoming Chhattisgarh state assembly elections in coalition with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC-J). BSP supremo also made it very clear that if the government of the BSP- JCC comes to power then Ajit Jogi will be the Chief Ministerial candidate. In Chhattisgarh, the BSP will contest on 35 seats and JCC will fight on the remaining 55 seats. One of the reasons why BSP decided to go with JCC is perhaps the Congress party was not willing to give more than 5 seats to the BSP.
The pre-poll alliance between the BSP-JCC is seen as a major setback to the dreams of the Grand Old Party which had been trying to throw BJP out of power which has been ruling the state since last 15 years. In fact, former Congress leader and now the CM candidate of BSP-JCC alliance- Ajit Jogi is trying to turn the assembly elections into a triangular contest and any such contest is most likely to benefit the BJP as it will cut the votes of the Congress. In Chhattisgarh, even shift of 1% votes can change the equations drastically.
Under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party failed to stitch-up alliance with regional parties for the upcoming state assembly elections. It’s just another example of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership failure. He has also failed to pacify factionalism within the party. Just like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Chattisgarh is also plagued by factionalism. In Chattisgarh, there are three claimants of CM post- Bhupesh Baghel (Pradesh Congress Committee chief), T.S. Singh Deo (Leader of Opposition) and Charan Das Mahant (former Union Minister and MP from Korba). Apart from these three, according to Congress party leaders, a fourth person- Tamradhwaj Sahu, MP from Durg and president of All India Congress Committee’s OBC wing- is likely to emerge as the strongest candidate for the post of CM.
If not pacified then all these infighting are bound to hurt the party in the upcoming elections, state as well as Lok Sabha elections, as more and more defection of disgruntled leaders might occur.
The party received one more setback last month. It’s party Chief Bhupesh Baghel was surrounded by controversy. He was caught in a sex CD controversy and was thrown behind the bars. He is currently out on bail.
In Chhattisgarh polls will be held in two phase. First phase is on 12th November, 18 seats of Maoist affected South Chattisgarh will vote. The second phase on 20th November, the voting will be on rest of the 72 seats of Northern Chhattisgarh.
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