Set­back for Cong as tribal face joins BJP


In a jolt to Congress in Ch­hat­tis­garh ahead of Novem­ber assem­bly elec­tions, four-time MLA Ram Dayal Uike, con­sid­ered tribal face of the party in the state, on Sat­ur­day switched over to BJP.

Mr Uike, who was Ch­hat­tis­garh Pradesh Congress Com­mit­tee (CPCC) work­ing pres­i­dent, has blamed CPCC pres­i­dent Bhu­pesh Baghel for leav­ing the party, say­ing, “I was feel­ing suf­fo­cated in the Congress due to ne­glect of SC and ST lead­ers by the party un­der Mr Baghel’s lead­er­ship”.

He also ac­cused Mr Baghel of in­dulging in “CD” pol­i­tics tar­nish­ing im­age of Congress in Ch­hat­tis­garh. He was in­di­cat­ing cir­cu­la­tion of a sleaze “CD” in which face of a se­nior min­is­ter in Ra­man Singh cab­i­net was mor­phed ap­par­ently to taint his im­age.

Mr Baghel was among five peo­ple made ac­cused in the case by CBI prob­ing the in­ci­dent.

BJP na­tional pres­i­dent Amit Shah ad­mit­ted him in his party in district head­quar­ters of Bi­lash­pur in Ch­hat­tis­garh in the pres­ence of chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh and state party pres­i­dent Dharam­lal Kaushik.

“It is ‘ghar wapsi’ or home com­ing for Mr Uike. He com­mands re­spect of trib­als in the state. BJP ‘s prospects in the tribal re­gions in Ch­hat­tis­garh will get a ma­jor boost in the com­ing assem­bly elec­tions fol­low­ing with his join­ing the party”, Mr Singh said.

CPCC pres­i­dent Bhu­pesh Baghel how­ever de­scribed Mr Uike’s de­ci­sion to hop over to BJP ahead of assem­bly elec­tions, barely one month away, as an “op­por­tunis­tic” step.

Sources said Mr Uike, cur­rently rep­re­sent­ing Palli Tanakhar (ST) assem­bly con­stituency in Bi­lash­pur district, was up­set over be­ing over­looked in the re­cent con­sti­tu­tion of com­mit­tee of CPCC and has been in touch with BJP lead­er­ship in Ch­hat­tis­garh for the past four days.

Mr Uike had joined Congress from BJP af­ter va­cat­ing his Mar­wahi (ST) assem­bly con­stituency for for­mer chief min­is­ter and found­ing pres­i­dent of re­cently floated Janata Congress Ch­hat­tis­garh (JCC) Ajit Jogi in 2000 when Ch­hat­tis­garh was carved out of Mad­hya Pradesh.

Ram Dayal Uike

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