RAIPUR: In an election year, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has worked out tactical caste calculations as it rejigs posts in the state unit with the focus on Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward castes.
As the party carried out significant appointments in the party unit in Chhattisgarh, Renu Jogi, the wife of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, has been ousted from the post of party vice-president.
Cited as the first major revamp in the state organisation and the state election committee by Rahul Gandhi after he took over as the party president, Chhattisgarh Congress will now have two working presidents, one each from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The party has reposed faith in Bhupesh Baghel, a key OBC leader, who will continue as the party president. T S Singhdeo will remain Leader of Opposition. A prominent tribal leader, Kwasi Lakhma, a legislator from Konta in Sukma (south Bastar), been appointed deputy leader of Opposition. Bastar zone, with 12 seats, has a predominantly tribal population.
Another tribal leader from the plains, Ram Dayal Uike, a four-time Congress legislator, has been appointed working president, and Shiv Kumar Dahariya, a Scheduled Caste face, has been assigned to work for the party as another working president, keeping in mind the ten constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes in the 90-member House. Uike, Dahariya and Lakhma, who have been offered important positions and responsibilities, were earlier staunch supporters of Jogi when the former chief minister was in the Congress.