LUCKNOW: In fast-paced political developments, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) decided to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh in alliance with Ajit Jogi's Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC-J). The decision, which puts an end to tie-up talks between BSP and Congress, was taken by the BSP chief Mayawati and JCC president Jogi here on Thursday. Meanwhile, the BSP also announced that it would go it alone in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and contest all 230 seats.
The BSP will fight on 35 seats and Jogi's party will field candidates on the remaining 55 seats of the 90-seat Chhattisgarh Assembly. In a joint statement, Mayawati said that if the alliance won the election in Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi would be the chief minister.
Jogi, a former Congress veteran, and first CM of Chhattisgarh, founded his party in 2016 along with his son after being expelled from the grand old party.
Both Mayawati and Jogi attacked the Congress and the BJP for neglecting the welfare of the people of Chhattisgarh in the last 15 years. The BJP has been ruling the state since 2003. The leaders said that in order to minimise dependency on Delhi and to stop the Centre's negligence, it was imperative to create a robust regional force with a strong leadership in Chhattisgarh so that the people of the state could join the mainstream of development.
In fact, Jogi had been trying to turn the Chhattisgarh polls into a triangular fight this time around but his party is an untested entity in the state.
The electoral understanding between BSP and JCC is being seen as a major setback for the opposition Congress-which had been trying to wrest power from the BJP after a span of 15 years.