Chhattisgarh polls: Will go by the wishes of party chief, says Jogi

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New Delhi, Oct 6: In good news to faction-ridden party in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, the Congress high command appears to have won over former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi.

This became clear with Jogi today saying he would go by the wishes of party chief Sonia Gandhi on the issue of contesting polls.

"It is for Soniaji to decide which polls I should contest, whether Assembly, the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha," Jogi said when asked whether he was contesting the Assembly polls.

Congress is out of power in the state for 10 years and the party is wanting to keep Jogi, who had been sulking for some time recently, in good humour.

Jogi's comment came close on the heels of suggestions from central leaders that the party could field his wife Renu and son Amit in the Assembly polls while telling the former chief minister to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

The rationale being given is as to how could all the three members of one family fight the Assembly polls. At present Jogi and his wife are MLAs.

Jogi has the distinction of being the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh when it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. The AICC Scrutiny Committee for Chhattisgarh is currently meeting here.

It is headed by party General Secretary C P Joshi. There had also been reports that Joshi had discussed candidates for all the 90 seats in the state with Jogi in order to nip any rebellion before the Assembly elections in November.

Congress is out of power in the state for 10 years.

With the state unit being virtually divided in pro and anti-Modi camps, central leaders including Rahul Gandhi have on various occasions underlined the need for senior party leaders in the state to work in a tandem.

Sometime back, Gandhi had said in 2008, Congress had lost the Chhattisgarh polls not due to the party workers, but due to senior party leaders "who did not work collectively".

In last assembly polls in 2008, the BJP had won 50 seats while the Congress bagged 38 and the Bahujan Samaj Party two seats.


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