Ajit Jogi passes away at 74
Ajit Jogi, an IAS officer-turned-politician who went on to become the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh in 2000, died on Friday at a city hospital where he was being treated for the past 20 days, doctors said.
Jogi, 74, who had slipped into a coma, suffered a cardiac arrest in the afternoon and could not be revived, they said. He is survived by his wife Renu Jogi, the MLA of Kota, and son Amit, a former MLA.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel declared a three-day mourning in the state as a mark of respect to the departed leader, whose last rites will take place on Saturday at his native place Gaurela.
Jogi was admitted to Shree Narayana Hospital on May 9 after he suffered respiratory and cardiac arrests after a seed of sweet tamarind got stuck in his windpipe, the medical director of the hospital, Dr Sunil Khemka, said.
Jogi, a former Congress leader, was the incumbent MLA from his traditional Marwahi seat.
Jogi, then in the Congress, had served as the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh, which came into existence in November 2000. He was chief minister from November 2000 to November 2003.
He parted ways with the Congress on a bitter note in 2016 after he and his son got embroiled in a controversy over alleged fixing of the Assembly by-election held for the Antagarh seat in Kanker district in 2014.
Jogi, who was in wheelchair since a road accident in 2004, subsequently formed his own outfit, the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), which is now headed by his son Amit.
A mass leader, Ajit Jogi remained an influential but controversial figure in Chhattisgarh though his regional party had limited appeal in the tribal-dominated state which has a bipolar politics with the Congress and the BJP being the main forces.