Ahead of crucial assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, the Congress on Saturday suffered a massive jolt as its working state president Ramdayal Uike joined the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party. Uike, who is an MLA from Pali-Tanakhar constituency, joined the saffron party in the presence of the BJP President Amit Shah and chief minister Raman Singh in party’s Bilaspur district headquarter.
The development is likely to strengthen the BJP in the upcoming polls as Uike is believed to have considerable clout among the tribal voters. In a press briefing held in the presence of the chief minister and other state BJP leaders, Uike said that that the Congress neglected the interests of tribals, backward and poor people. “I was pained over it as I represent a tribal region,” he added.
Uike hailed the chief minister’s works for the tribals and backward people. He said: “CM Raman Singh has been making efforts for the overall development of tribals and backward people and his development-oriented policies have impressed me to rejoin my home party.” Uike was earlier with the BJP but later he quit and joined the Congress in 2000.
The former Congress leader also said that he was feeling suffocated in Congress for the last several years as the party had diverted from its ideology and principles. Uike also accused the Congress of neglecting him. Recently, Congress had removed him from the Congress screening committee.
Reacting to the development, Congress state communication wing chief Shailesh Nitin Trivedi called Uike an opportunist. He said that Uike has gone back to BJP, which he had left earlier for opportunistic reasons. “He has again proved that he is an opportunist,” Trivedi said.