Amit Jogi, the chief of Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC), is on a hunger strike since yesterday at his residence in Raipur, protesting against the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in the state over some "unfulfilled promises" which the party had said to be made in its election manifesto during Chhattisgarh assembly polls.
However, the political observers of this tribal-dominated state believe that Amit Jogi, who is the son of former state Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, is protesting against the Congress-led government in the state, keeping upcoming by-polls in his family bastion Marwahi assembly constituency in mind.
It is to be noted that the Marwahi seat has fallen vacant after the demise of Ajit Jogi on May 29 this year, leaving the responsibility of the JCC to his son, Amit, who was expelled from the Congress party in the year 2016. The by-polls on Marwahi seat is a must win for Amit Jogi as his family has never lost the seat post year 2000 when the state was formed, after being carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
Amit Jogi has alleged that the Congress party has failed to fulfill the promises it had made during the state assembly elections. Ahead of beginning the hunger strike, he claimed that Congress' election manifesto had promised to offer employment, unemployment allowance and regularisation to contractual employees, but nothing was fulfilled yet.
According to JCC spokesperson Bhagwanu Nayak, members of several organisations including Police Bharti Sangh, Sangarshsheel Prerak Sangh, Vidya Mitan Sangh and others have also joined Amit Jogi in the hunger strike for support.
With the death of Ajit Jogi in May, the ruling Congress in Chhattigarh is now eyeing on Marwahi seat. Hence, both Jogi and Baghel are all set to face the upcoming by-poll on this seat.
After coming to power with 67 seats, Chief Minister Baghel won assembly by-polls in Chitrakot and Jagdalpur seats, taking the tally to 69. Now, as the Marwahi seat is vacant, the Chief Minister has already termed it as his ‘Target 70’.
Sources even claimed that it was Baghel who had stalled Amit Jogi’s entry into the Congress after his father passed away, leaving his political outfit JCC in the lurch. Political analysts believe that Marwahi by-poll win will not only help Baghel grow in stature both in Congress' state unit and as Chief Minister but also could push Amit Jogi into political oblivion.
Meanwhile, the final date for the by-poll in Marwahi constituency is yet to be decided by the Election Commission due to coronavirus scare.
About Marwahi Seat
With a population of around two lakh, mostly tribals and SCs, the seat has remained Jogi family bastion in last two decades. In year 2000, the Chhattisgarh was formed, Ajit Jogi had ensured defection of then BJP MLA Ramdayal Uike and successfully contested by-poll in year 2001. In year 2008, Jogi again contested and won from Marwahi but in year 2013, he fielded his son Amit who also won the seat. In year 2016, both the father-son duo was expelled from Congress party and floated JCC. Ajit Jogi contested from Marwahi as JCC candidate and won.
Political observers does not deny the fact that Jogi family has its sway in the constituency but also claim that it was primarily due to political stature and local connect of Ajit Jogi, who would not be around for the first time in the by-poll.