The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Thumbs down to BSP alliance

New Delhi, Sept. 11: Ajit Jogi, who is considered close to Mayavati, has ruled out a Congress alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party, either at the state or the national level.

The Chhattisgarh chief minister made his remarks at a meet-the-press programme here today.

Jogi was thought to have favoured an alliance with Mayavati’s party in Chhattisgarh. His remarks came a day after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had a “productive” meeting with Sonia Gandhi. The meeting is believed to have brought the two parties closer.

“In the present scenario, there is no discussion at the national level with the BSP,” said Jogi, even though he has been meeting its senior leader Kanshi Ram informally.

The Congress leader said his party was strong enough to contest all 90 Assembly seats in Chhattisgarh if required, adding that there was no need for an alliance with the BSP.

There was speculation that allying with the BSP would help the Congress win the Dalit vote in Raipur, but Jogi said neither the BSP nor the Samajwadi would be a factor.

The chief minister added that the Vidya Charan Shukla-led Nationalist Congress Party would not make much headway in the state. “Chhattisgarh is a bipolar state. The fight will be between the Congress and the BJP. There is no place for any third party,” he said.

Jogi said the Congress would defeat the BJP, which had not even decided on its chief ministerial candidate.

He said the BJP’s complaint to the Election Commission that free elections could not be held under his rule indicated its defeatist mindset.

The chief minister made light of the two controversies he is embroiled in: the CBI inquiry into the alleged forgery of an Intelligence Bureau document detailing his wealth and a complaint that he faked his Scheduled Tribes status.

In March Jogi had alleged the Intelligence Bureau’s special directorate had compiled a dossier on his assets. The bureau said it had no such wing, prompting the CBI to register a case of forgery and question the chief minister last June.

Jogi today said the documents he had produced to show the Centre was targeting Opposition leaders were genuine. “Not even the biggest of morons will come up with self-implicating letters like that. It is ridiculous to say it is forged,” he said.

The chief minister said there was nothing new about the recent petition filed before the Shahdol district chief judicial magistrate in Madhya Pradesh alleging that he had provided a false certificate to establish his tribal credetials. He said such complaints had come up before the courts at least four times. The Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court had not only dismissed the public interest litigation, but fined the petitioner Rs 10,000 for wasting its time, Jogi added.

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