Setback for Cong as tribal leader joins BJP
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.