Mayawati deals first blow to ‘United Opposition’: Congress snubbed, BSP allies with Ajit Jogi for Chhattisgarh Assembly polls

By: | Published: September 21, 2018 9:34 AM

Just a few months ahead of the Assembly polls in three BJP-ruled states, the Congress party on Thursday suffered a big jolt when the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati announced its decision to join ranks with the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh of Ajit Jogi in this central state.

Chhattisgarh election, Chhattisgarh Assembly, Mayawati news, Ajit Jogi party, BSP allianceMayawati deals first blow to ‘United Opposition’: Congress snubbed, BSP allies with Ajit Jogi for Chhattisgarh Assembly polls

Just a few months ahead of the Assembly polls in three BJP-ruled states, the Congress party on Thursday suffered a big jolt when the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati announced its decision to join ranks with the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh of Ajit Jogi in this central state. According to the seat-sharing agreement between both the parties, the BSP will contest 35 seats and Janata Congress will field candidates on remaining 55 seats.

“The Bahujan Samaj Party has decided to contest upcoming assembly polls in alliance with Janta Congress Chhattisgarh. BSP will fight on 35 seats and Janta Congress Chhattisgarh will contest on 55 seats. If we win, Ajit Jogi will be the CM,” she said on Thursday.

The announcement comes amidst efforts by the Congress party to seal a seat-sharing deal with the BSP. Of the 90 Assembly seats in Chhattisgarh, 10 are reserved for the backwards, accounting a little more than the 10% of the Assembly’s full strength. The elections this time will be now a three-corner contest. At present, the BJP’s strength in the outgoing assembly is 49 which includes 9 MLAs from these 10 reserved seats. Winning these 10 seats is set to play a crucial part, one that could change the arithmetic if the Assembly is delivered with a hung verdict. The BSP and Jogi’s party will be drawing a well-equipped strategy to win these seats.

According to Census India, while 76% of the total population lives in urban areas, the remaining 24% lives in rural regions of the state. There are 12.82% Scheduled Caste (SC) and 30.62% Scheduled Tribe of the total population of over 2.50 crore in Chhattisgarh. They play a very crucial role in determining the elections results in the state. In the previous assembly polls, the BSP had contested all the 90 seats but won just 1 seat with a total voting percentage of 4.27 %.

Speaking of the alliance, Ajit Jogi said the coalition will definitely win the polls in the state. He also accused the BJP of misusing the power and money for the last 15 years. “The BJP has been in office in Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years. By misusing power and money, they want to rule the state. Our coalition will definitely stop them,” Jogi who had served as the first CM of Chhattisgarh between November 2000 and December 2003 said.

Jogi was expelled from the Congress party for six years over his alleged involvement in anti-party activities. He had floated Janata Congress Chhattisgarh earlier this year to take on the Congress and BJP.

In another related development from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh where the Congress was engaged in rigorous seat-sharing talks with Mayawati, the BSP on Thursday released a list of 22 candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls hinting that the chances of a pre-poll alliance between the Congress and BSP are now very thin.

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