Lucknow: Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will contest Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 in an alliance with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC). The move came as a setback for the Congress which is leaving no stone unturned to build a nation wide alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Also Read - Delhi Chalo: Rahul Gandhi Slams Modi Government Over Farmers Protest, Fires 'Suit-Boot' Jibe

Announcing the alliance, BSP chief Mayawati said that Ajit Jogi will become the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh if party comes to power. “We have decided to forge an alliance with the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh. Ajit Jogi will be the chief ministerial candidate,” Mayawati said at a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday. Also Read - COVID-19: BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari Passes Away, PM Modi Condoles Demise

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will contest 35 seats and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh 55 in the 90-member Assembly. Also Read - Regretting Error: Congress MP Anand Sharma Clarifies After Praising PM Modi's Visit to Vaccine Facilities

Explaining the reason behind BSP-JCC joining hands, Mayawati said, “Both the parties are capable of stopping the BJP in the state. If some other regional parties want to join us, we will take their help.” Launching an attack on the BJP, she said that the state government did nothing for the state in the past 15 years and that a “strong regional representation” was necessary to ensure that it is not neglected. The BSP and the JCC will soon launch a joint election campaign and a plan for conducting rallies will be finalised soon, she also added.

Reiterating her condition of coming into an alliance with any party, she said, “My views on alliance with other parties are clear. We will go for an alliance if our party gets a respectable number of seats and if the ideologies match.” In a similar statement on September 16, she had said that the BSP will be compelled to 2019 Lok Sabha polls alone if it does not get a “respectable” number of seats in the anti-BJP alliance.

On the other hand, Jogi said, “The BJP has been in power in Chhattisgarh for the past 15 years. Satta ka durupyog, paise ka durupyog, prashasnik tantra ka durupoyog karke woh phir se satta mein aana chahti hai. Ab humara gathbandhan ho gaya hai, Mayawati ji aur humlog mil kar unko (BJP) avashya rok lenge (They want to retain power with misuse of power, money and the administration. Now that we have entered into an alliance with the BSP, together we will be able to keep them (BJP) in check.”

Congress reacts to BSP-JCC Tie up

Reacting to the BSP tying up with Ajit Jogi’s JCC for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Congress’ state in-charge PL Punia said on Thursday, “We had received a proposal from BSP for an alliance. The Congress will fight the elections independently and form the government in the state.”

Noteworthy, in Chhattisgarh, the Dalit population plays an important role in determining election results in regions such as Janjgir-Champa, Raigarh and Bastar.

(Inputs from PTI)