RAIPUR: In an attempt to put the pre-poll alliance with Mayawati in Lucknow into a fast track mode, former chief minister Ajit Jogi's party Janta Congress Chhattisgarh-J (JCC-J) on Tuesday agreed on 19 of the 39 reserved seats for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.
The BSP got seven of the ten Scheduled Caste (SC) seats and 12 out of the 29 reserved Scheduled Tribe (ST) constituencies. The BSP will also contest in the 16 unreserved seats of the state.
Of the 90 seats, Jogi's party will field 55 candidates and the remaining Assembly segments will see the BSP in the poll fray.
"The alliance is now in a better position to win the polls. We are releasing the list of 35 seats for the BSP. Our regional party with the BSP is in direct fight against the ruling BJP. None of the Congress-ruled states were capable of stopping the so-called Modi wave except for the regional parties in West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana," Jogi asserted.
To a query whether there will be a joint manifesto of the alliance, Jogi told TNIE that both the parties will soon decide on whether to have an individual declaration or go for a joint manifesto. "We still have time and a decision on this will be taken soon", he averred.
Both Jogi and the BSP are fighting for greater political space in Chhattisgarh. The JCC(J) floated by Jogi in June 2016 is yet to face electoral tests while the BSP too has not improved its tally during the three Assembly polls that Chhattisgarh has witnessed so far. In fact, it's vote share dwindled from 6.12 per cent in 2008 to 4.27 per cent in 2013.