Congress ignores Jogi for Chhattisgarh legislature party leader

December 18th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Dec 18 (IANS) Congress Thursday ignored the claims of Ajit Jogi, Chhattisgarh’s first chief minister, to head the party legislators in the state legislature and appointed veteran member Ravindra Choubey to the post.The decision was made in New Delhi. Now Choubey, who was elected to the assembly of the undivided Madhya Pradesh and subsequently the Chattisgarh assembly for the sixth time from Saja seat in Durg district, will be Chhattisgarh’s new leader of the opposition.

Tribal leader Rampukar Singh, who has made to state assembly for the seventh time, defeating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state chief and sitting Lok Sabha member, Vishnudeo Sai from Pathalgaon seat in the Nov poll, was appointed deputy leader of the opposition.

Choubey was a staunch Jogi supporter but he defected Dec 13, the day when Congress legislature party (CLP) met here to elect its leader.

However, the meet remained inconclusive though 28 of the state’s total 38 Congress legislators in the BJP dominated 90-member assembly, openly supported Jogi’s candidature. Finally, the CLP meet passed a one-line resolution authorising party chief Sonia Gandhi to elect the new leader.

The Jogi loyalists were lobbying hard in Delhi since Dec 14 to help their mentor become CLP leader but it finally proved a futile exercise.

“The Congress high command agreed to Choubey’s name as four anti-Jogi factions - led by nine-time MP Vidya Charan Shukla, Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, tribal leader Mahendra Karma and working president Charandas Mahant - joined hands to keep Jogi in check,” senior party sources told IANS.

The CLP leader post for Choubey, the parliamentary affairs minister in Jogi regime that lost power to BJP in state’s maiden polls in Nov 2003, has come as a total surprise.

Party insiders claim Choubey benefitted due to a sheer strategic successful move by the four factions to cut to size the 62-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician Jogi in the mineral rich state.

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