Raipur, Oct 31 (PTI) Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) chief Amit Jogi on Saturday said his party will support the BJP candidate in the November 3 Marwahi Assembly byelection.
The constituency in the Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi (GPM) district, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, fell vacant following JCC (J) founder and Amit's father Ajit Jogi's death on May 29.
The constituency has been a bastion of the Jogi family so far. But this time it will witness a direct fight between the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP, as the nomination papers of Amit and his wife Richa Jogi got rejected after the returning officer found their caste certificates invalid.
The JCC (J)'s support to the BJP comes amid reports that one of four MLAs of the Amit Jogi-led party in the 90- member Chhattisgarh Assembly may join the Congress.
'JCC(J) legislative party leader Dharamjeet Singh and party leader Rajendra Rai have informed me they have decided to support BJP nominee Gambhir Singh. I have not spoken to BJP leaders in this regard, but I agree with the decision of my party's leaders,' Amit Jogi said in a Facebook post.
Talking to PTI, Jogi said, 'The Congress and its chief minister have been continuously insulting my late father and targeting him in a way that goes against the tradition of the country and basic morality. They have also fraudulently ousted my family from the bypoll.
'Deeply anguished by this, we have decided to extend support to the BJP nominee. It is temporary support and not a permanent tie-up. I am confident the people of Marwahi will protect my father's honour,' he added.
BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Dharamlal Kaushik welcomed the decision and alleged that the Congress was harassing the Jogi family.
'We welcome Jogi's support to the BJP. The people of Marwahi will give a befitting reply to the Congress,' he said.
State Congress spokesperson R P Singh said Jogi's move was not surprising as 'what was happening behind the curtains has come out in the open'.
For the bypoll, the BJP has fielded surgeon Dr Gambheer Singh against the Congress' Dr Krishan Kumar Dhruw, a former block medical officer of Marwahi. PTI TKP BNM KRK KRK