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Just weeks before assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Congress lost its state working president and MLA Ramdayal Uike to BJP today, Saturday, October 13.

Uike, who represents Pali-Tanakhar constituency, joined the BJP in the presence of the party chief Amit Shah, Chief Minister Raman Singh and BJP state unit president Dharamlal Kaushik in Bilaspur district headquarter.

Earlier, Uike had quit BJP in 2000 and joined Congress. He described his return to the ruling party as “ghar wapsi”.

Congress dubbed Uike as an “opportunist” and said his decision will not harm the opposition party.

Uike said he was feeling suffocated in the Congress as Scheduled Tribes (ST) leaders were being neglected by the party leadership.

Announcing his decision to join BJP, Uike said, “I had been feeling suffocated in 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.”

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

“Congress has neglected the interests of tribals, backward and poor people and I was pained over it as I represent a tribal region. CM Raman Singh has been making efforts for overall development of tribals and backward people and his development oriented policies have impressed me to rejoin my home party,” he said.

When asked about contesting elections, he said he will follow the directions of the party leadership in this regard.

Known for passing controversial remarks, Uike had addressed a gathering in April, where he reportedly said Congress would throw BJP out of power from Chhattisgarh and would resort to “sticks and bullets” if needed.

Uike was elected MLA of Pali Tanakhar in 2013 after winning with a margin of over 28,000 votes. He was appointed Congress Working President in January this year.

After the formation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, Uike who was a BJP MLA from Marwahi seat had joined Congress and vacated his seat to facilitate the entry of Ajit Jogi into the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly after he was sworn-in as first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.

According to BJP sources, Uike was not happy after he was ousted from the Congress screening committee and since then he had been in touch with ruling party leadership. The BJP may field Uike either from Marwahi or Pali Tanakhar – the ST reserved seats, both considered as his stronghold.

Reacting to the development, Congress state communication wing chief Shailesh Nitin Trivedi told PTI:  “Uike has gone back to BJP, which he had left earlier for opportunistic reasons. He has again proved that he is an opportunist.”

“His decision is not going to harm Congress in any way as history is witness that the party in which Uike was there it had never won. In fact we are thankful to Uike that he has left our party and ensured victory to us,” Trivedi said.

Congress announces induction of Journalist Ruchir Garg.

Meanwhile, prepping for the upcoming state elections, Congress has announced the induction of Ruchir Garg, former Editor of the Hindi news daily Navbharat in Chhattisgarh. Considered one of the most respected journalists in the state, speculations are Garg may fight the Assembly elections from Raipur.

Chhattisgarh is going to have a two-phase state assembly election. Eighteen naxal-affected constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on November 12, while the rest of the 72 constituencies would go to polls in the second phase on November 20.

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