Jogi not contesting is advantage for Cong in C'garh

JCC supremo Ajit Jogi (Image courtesy Twitter)

With JCC supremo Ajit Jogi making an exit from the Lok Sabha polls, contest for a total of 11 parliamentary seats in Chhattisgarh is going to be a bipolar one between the Congress and the BJP.

The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh’s (JCC) decision that it will not join the fray may turn out to be an advantage to the resurgent Congress, which from its landslide victory in the recent state Assembly polls is hoping to gain further in the Lok Sabha elections with people's sentiments in its favour.

Winning 68 out of a total 90 seats in the Assembly polls held in November last year, the Congress ended the 15-year-long rule of the BJP under chief minister Raman Singh.

The BJP suffered a massive drubbing and lost power to the Congress in the state as Jogi's entry in the poll arena made the Assembly elections a triangular battle of ballots.

Jogi, the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh and an ex-Congress heavyweight, enjoys a significant clout among tribal people and various Scheduled Caste communities, particularly the influential Satnamis and the Ganda communities in the state.

Though his party won just five Assembly seats in the elections held in November last year, both the Congress and the BJP felt Jogi’s presence.

While the overall vote share of the JCC came at 7.6%, its candidates remained either in the second or the third position in most of the constituencies from where they contested but could not win.

In an interview to DH, Jogi cited "limited resources" as one of the main reasons behind his party’s decision to remain out from the contest in the Lok Sabha elections.

He also said that his party, instead of joining the fray, will support the BSP.

When asked for his comment on the BJP mocking the Opposition parties over lack of prime ministerial candidate, Jogi appreciated Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his leadership, saying time and situations create new leaders.

"It’s true nobody matches the leadership of Narendra Modi. That is the advantage of the BJP. But, time and situations create new leaders. Rahul ji is already there. Besides him, Mamata ji, Mayawati ji, (N Chandrababu) Naidu ji, Sharad Pawar ji are also there. They are very experienced leaders. If any of them gets the (prime minister’s) seat, the seat will teach them everything," Jogi said.

The BSP has fielded its candidates for all 11 Lok Sabha seats even as its influence is limited to Janjgir-Champa parliamentary constituency, reserved for the Scheduled Caste.

Of the total eight Assembly segments in Janjgir-Champa, the BSP has two with it. The party does not have any considerable presence in the remaining 10 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The Congress and the BJP are logged into a pitched battle for 11 Lok Sabha seats, four of which are reserved for the Scheduled Tribe and one for the Scheduled Caste.

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Jogi not contesting is advantage for Cong in C'garh

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