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House snub to Jogi

Raipur, Jan. 2: Ajit Jogi today received another jolt in Chhattisgarh when the Congress high command decided to appoint T.S. Singhdeo, his rival in party affairs, as leader of the Opposition.

Former chief minister and party strongman Jogi was sidelined in the selection. His wife Renu and loyalist Ramdayal Uikey had been frontrunners for the post. Renu was made deputy leader of Opposition.

Earlier, Jogi’s bÍte-noire Bhupesh Baghel was appointed the Pradesh Congress chief.

A member of the Sarguja royal family, T.S. Singhdeo had been sidelined by Jogi when he became chief minister in November 2000. His father, M.S. Singhdeo, was chief secretary in Madhya Pradesh and his wife, Devendra Kumari, was a minister.

Jogi is being blamed by many in the party for the Assembly poll defeat. It won 39 of the 90 seats. The high command appears to have taken a dim view of Jogi prominently sharing the dais with the BJP leaders at Raman Singh’s swearing-in.