Set­back for Cong as tribal leader joins BJP

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Press Trust of In­dia let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

In a ma­jor set­back to the op­po­si­tion Congress in poll­bound Ch­hat­tis­garh, its state work­ing pres­i­dent and MLA Ram­dayal Uike on Satur­day joined the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Uike, who rep­re­sents Pal­iTanakhar con­stituency, joined the BJP in the pres­ence of party chief Amit Shah and chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh in Bilaspur dis­trict head­quar­ters. Con­sid­ered a pop­u­lar tribal leader in Bilaspur di­vi­sion, Uike said he was feel­ing suf­fo­cated in the Congress as Sched­uled Tribes (ST) lead­ers were be­ing ne­glected by the party lead­er­ship.

In a press con­fer­ence held in Bilaspur in the pres­ence of the chief min­is­ter as well BJP state unit pres­i­dent Dharam­lal Kaushik, he an­nounced that he joined the BJP.

“I had been feel­ing suf­fo­cated in the Congress for the last sev­eral years. Congress has di­verted from its ide­ol­ogy and prin­ci­ples. The CD pol­i­tics of Congress has tar­nished its im­age. State Congress chief Bhu­pesh Baghel has ma­ligned the im­age of the party by en­cour­ag­ing the ob­scene CD pol­i­tics,” he said.

Uike was ap­par­ently re­fer­ring to a case of cir­cu­la­tion of a ‘sex CD’ pur­port­edly fea­tur­ing a state min­is­ter, in which Baghel was named as one of the five ac­cused.

He said his party high com­mand did not pay at­ten­tion to his de­mand to re­move Baghel from the post of state unit pres­i­dent.

Thou­sands of Ayyappa devo­tees took to the streets in Kochi on Satur­day against the Supreme Court ver­dict al­low­ing women of all age groups into Sabari­mala tem­ple, even as ac­tivist Trupti De­sai an­nounced plans to visit the hill shrine soon.

The CPI(M)-led Left Demo­cratic Front (LDF) govern­ment, which de­cided to im­ple­ment the rul­ing, held a meet­ing to eval­u­ate prepa­ra­tions car­ried out for pil­grims ar­riv­ing at the tem­ple which will open for monthly poo­jas on Wed­nes­day.

Though the govern­ment has not re­acted to De­sai’s planned trip to the tem­ple, it has evoked sharp re­ac­tions from devo­tees and the BJP which is cam­paign­ing against the en­try of women into the shrine.


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