RAIPUR : Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi on Sunday stitched another political party, Communist Party of India (CPI), into the existing alliance in which his party, the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (Jogi), has a seat sharing arrangement with Dalit leader Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and allotted two seats to the CPI in the tribal belt of Bastar.
Ajit Jogi said the two seats of Dantewada and Konta in Sukma district will be contested by the candidates of the CPI under the expanded coalition and their cadres will support the candidates of JCC (J) and the BSP in other Assembly segments.
“Our support base has expanded. With the popularity of the JCC-J and the BSP rising, the CPI will also join us. The strength of the Mahagathbandhan will now be doubled. In both Dantewada and Konta, the CPI has a strong presence.
Bastar in the south, north Sarguja and areas where tribals, workers and the labour class are in abundance, will get the support of the CPI and benefit from the coalition”, the 72-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician said. In the elections of 1990 and 1993 the CPI won both the seats and in 1998 and 2008 polls it stood at second position. However, the CPI is yet to announce their candidates for the seats. Jogi declared that he will campaign and address public rallies for the CPI at Dantewada and Konta from October 22-24.
Last month, the BSP had entered into a pre-poll alliance with Jogi’s regional outfit. Under the pact, the BSP will be contesting in 35 of the 90 Assembly seats in the state. Now Jogi’s party will field their candidates in 43 remaining seats after allocating two constituencies to the CPI.
■ The JCC(J) floated by Jogi in June 2016 is yet to face electoral tests
■ The BSP too has not improved its tally during the previous three Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh.
■ The BSP’s share dwindled from 6.12 per cent in 2008 to 4.27 per cent in 2013.