RAIPUR: AICC general secretary and in-charge of Chhattisgarh state P L Punia called former chief minister Ajit Jogi a traitor who as a Congressman had sabotaged the party’s prospects of returning to power during the Assembly elections. He however didn’t blame infighting for the electoral debacle.
“Congress has done so much for Jogi but he betrayed the party. There will be no dialogue with him either before or after the 2018 Assembly elections. For us the chapter is now closed,” Punia told the New Indian Express.
While asserting that no effort would be made to bring Jogi back into the Congress, Punia revealed that he already has a strategy for the 2018 elections to be executed at an ‘appropriate time’.
“Jogi diverted the votes going in Congress support in favour of the ruling BJP with whom he still nurtures good relations,” said Punia. With just 0.7 percent difference between the BJP and the Congress’ vote share during the 2013 polls, the parties have started working on pro-anti-incumbency which political analysts say will be the deciding factor in the 2018 elections.
Chhattisgarh, during the previous Assembly elections, had witnessed anti-incumbency individual seats more than against the ruling party and which was apparent when 27 sitting Congress MLAs failed to win from their constituencies.
“Every such situation gives lessons to learn. With fair representation to every community the Congress will put up candidates depending upon their win ability,” Punia said.
On BJP president Amit Shah’s target of 65 of the 90 seats for Chhattisgarh, he said, “Amit Shah should tell which remaining 25 seats he considers his party will be losing. It’s not Shah but the people who will decide. The political jumla (empty promise) of BJP will not work anymore.”