Among high profile bypolls across the country, Marwahi assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh is one of the most sought after election this year.
The by-election in Marwahi was necessitated due to the death of sitting Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) MLA and former CM Ajit Jogi in May this year.
Jogis, who ruled the seat for two decades and see it as their family seat, it’s a direct fight between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP. Eight candidates contested the bypoll in Marwahi, but the main fight is between Congress's Dr KK Dhruw and BJP candidate Dr Gambheer Singh.
The Jogis are siding with the BJP accusing the Congress of disrespecting late Ajit Jogi, who was the founder of Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, a breakaway faction of Congress.
A day after Jai Singh Agrawal, the Congress in-charge of Marwahi claimed that the party was heading for a sweeping win in Marwahi, claiming that future of Jogis was doomed, JCC chief Amit Jogi chose to reply putting up a brave face.
“The fate of Jogis could only be decided by the public, none else. But you did not give public a chance to do so through a conspiracy. Without defeating me, what will be this win? All saw that you prevented me from going among the public and virtually acceded defeat,” Amit Jogi said in a tweet, a day ahead of counting for Marwahi bypoll.
Amit Jogi made his plans clear when he said that his mother, JCC MLA Renu Jogi, was his strength who stood up in front of him and his wife Richa like a rock, shielding them from troubles after demise of his father. Sources also believe that Amit Jogi could push her mother in the forefront in future to steady the shaky JCC.
Agrawal on Sunday had told the media that his party was heading for a landslide win in bypoll as party workers have worked in collective manner. The party shall emerge victorious with a thumping win, he added claiming future of Jogi family was over in Chhattisgarh.
He went on to claim that two of the four MLAs of JCC have extended support to the Congress party while 90% of its workers have returned to the grand old party in recent past.
After being expelled from Congress party on charges of rigging Antagarh poll in BJP’s favour, AJit jogi and his son, Amit, were expelled from Congress party in year 2016 and formed Janta Congress Chhattisgarh.
The Marwahi bypoll was necessitated after demise of Amit Jogi. Amit Jogi and his wife Richa could not contest in the bypoll as their caste certificates were suspended by search committees and the poll officers rejected their nominations.
Since then Jogis have accused Bhupesh Baghel government of insulting the late Jogi by not letting his family contest the bypoll on their family seat. JCC eventually did not field anyone and extended support to BJP which was quick to fish in troubled waters and claimed no stone will be left unturned to keep late Jogi’s honour intact.
Meanwhile for Congress party, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, an old detractor of late Ajit Jogi, has taken the bypoll as a prestige issue, not leaving anything to ensure a defeat for Jogis and a body blow to their political future. Those in the know claimed that it was Baghel who had foiled Amit Jogi’s effort to merge JCC with the Congress party after demise of Jogi senior.
The counting of votes and announcement of results takes place on Nov 10.