Renu Jogi, wife of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, announced today that she will contest the upcoming state assembly election from Kota as a candidate of her husband's party. The announcement comes after the Congress released its final list of candidates on Thursday and her name was missing from it. The party has fielded former police officer Vibhor Singh from Kota.
Reportedly miffed over the party's decision, Ms Jogi filed her nomination papers from the seat as the candidate of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), a political party launched by her husband Ajit Jogi in 2016. It is fighting the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh in alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India, with Mr Jogi as the chief ministerial candidate.
"I had full faith in the Congress and (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi ji. I have been a committed and dedicated worker of the Congress party," she said.
"But for the last two-and-a-half years, I was pained to see the treatment (by party leaders) towards me," Ms Jogi told reporters after filing her papers at Bilaspur collectorate.
Asked whether it was painful for her to quit the Congress, she replied in the affirmative.
"When I was denied a ticket, I thought I was being insulted. Therefore, I quit the party," she said.
However, she said that there is a possibility that their party will be part of a possible grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Ajit Jogi has so far never hinted that his fledgling outfit will be part of any anti-BJP grand alliance at the national level.
Ms Jogi was accompanied by her son Amit Jogi, the sitting lawmaker from the Marwahi constituency, while filing her papers. This time, Ajit Jogi will contest from Marwahi.
After she was denied a ticket, Ms Jogi wrote to Sonia Gandhi explaining how she was being ignored by the present Congress leadership in the state.
In the letter, she wrote that she was removed from the post of deputy leader of opposition in the assembly and local Congress leaders tried to tarnish the image of her husband and son through "fake" CDs.
Kota in Bilaspur district has been a Congress stronghold and the party hasn't lost the seat ever since Chhattisgarh was formed in 2000. With Ms Jogi in the fray, the contest might become tricky for the Congress.
Elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly will be held in two phases on November 12 and November 20. The counting of votes will be held on December 11.