After facing defeat in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC), led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi, has decided not to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and instead will extend support to its alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the state.
In a statement, JCC state president Amit Jogi said the party core committee and the parliamentary board has unanimously decided that BSP, being a national party, should contest from all the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state and, therefore, Janta Congress will extend support to its candidates as an alliance partner.
"We will spend our energy to defeat the communal forces. Ours is a regional party and our efforts would be to defeat the BJP", Jogi said, adding that the JCC would now focus on contesting the civic elections.
The development comes as a major setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it would be now a bipolar contest between the Congress and the Saffron party in the state. The CJC that came into existence in 2016 after Ajit Jogi quit Congress could have played misery for the Congress Congress in at least four of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh.
The BJP, which has been desperate to regain its lost ground after assembly polls debacle in the state, was seeking to divide the Congress' vote with CJC' advantage. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP bagged 10 of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in its kitty while the Congress had managed to get only one. Now Congress bagging 68 assembly seats of the 90 in Chhattisgarh and the JCC out of the fray, the BJP may witnesse a decrease in its tally.
In 2018 Assembly polls, JCC-BSP alliance had won seven seats in the 90-member assembly and the combine had secured nearly 14 per cent votes. The Congress, on the other hand, ended its 15-year drought with win in 68 assembly segments.
Earlier, Ajit Jogi had announced that he would himself contest the general election from the Korba Lok Sabha seat.
Polls for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh will be held in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.