RAIPUR: There seems to be no respite for former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s political fortunes. After the party was unable to make a significant impact in the state’s Vidhan Sabha polls last year, discontent seems to have driven away several leaders from the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh-J (JCC-J) with several others reportedly unhappy with the leadership ready to jump ship.
When bureaucrat-turned-politician Jogi, 72, floated the JCC-J in June 2016, several leaders from the Congress joined it. But soon, many changed their minds alleging the leadership “indifferent” attitude towards them.
That the party’s internal democracy is weak, seems to be a uniform complaint. Many alleged that the regional outfit has virtually turned into the ‘Jogi family party’ and that other leaders have little say in the forum.
Political observers believe the returning leaders are a bad sign for the Jogis. “Ajit Jogi doesn’t appear keen so far to undertake a damage control exercise. Most of the leaders are leaving the party after Amit (Ajit Jogi’s son) took charge as the president. It’s indeed a setback as leaders are departing just ahead of the general elections,” said Ashok Tomar, a political commentator.
The JCC-J is yet to work out the seat sharing formula with the Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Chhattisgarh. Both the parties entered into a pre-poll alliance before the state Assembly elections held in November 2018 and won seven of the 90 seats.
The party leadership however is still defiant. “Those going away from the party to join the Congress are the ones who do not wish to fight for the cause of 2.5 crore people of the state but are keen to clinch the benefits and enjoy the political power,” said Amit adding that such exits would only create more avenues for new people.
Health and rural development minister T S Singhdeo however cautioned that the Congress shouldn’t rush to take back these fleeing leaders. “We should properly evaluate the leaders willing to join the Congress,” he said adding that many of these leaders had worked against the Congress during the Assembly polls.