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Ajit Jogi – an articulate leader who influenced politics in Chhattisgarh


File Photo of Ajit jogi

New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): Ajit Jogi, the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh, was an articulate politician who was as much at ease in political corridors of Delhi as in politics of his home state.
A former IAS officer, he was a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and was picked by Congress President Sonia Gandhi over rival aspirants to lead Chhattisgarh when the state was carved out from Madhya Pradesh in 2000.
A leader with strong determination, Jogi bravely faced a serious accident he met during an election campaign in 2004 and returned to active politics.
The Congress lost the 2003 assembly polls under his leadership and did not return to power for the next 15 years with BJP leader Raman Singh holding the post. Over the years voices grew within state Congress against Jogi and he formed his own party Janta Congress Chhattisgarh in 2016.
He was the chief spokesperson of the Congress from 1997-2000 and held various organisational posts including working President, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (in charge of Chhattisgarh) between 1998-2000 and acting president of Chhattisgarh Congress from 2000-01.
Jogi was not away from controversies. In 2003, BJP leader Arun Jaitley played an audiotape at a press conference and alleged that that the then outgoing chief minister gave money to some BJP MLAs asking them to break the party.
The Chhattisgarh Congress had sought action against Jogi and expelled his son Amit Jogi in 2016 for six years over allegations that Antagarh bypoll was fixed.
Jogi was critically injured in 2004 during a campaign tour of Mahasamund Lok Sabha constituency after his vehicle hit a tree in the wee hours.
Politically sharp and connected, his success in politics did not appear to match his individual brilliance. Considered a loyalist of Nehru-Gandhi family, Jogi was a two-term member of Lok Sabha and twice of Rajya Sabha.
He was selected for IPS in 1968 and got selected for Indian Administrative Services (IAS) two years later. He had a successful career as an administrator and spent several years as a district collector. He later joined the Congress.
Born on April 29, 1946, in Bilaspur, Jogi pursued Engineering and began his career as a lecturer of Government Engineering College, Raipur.
Well-read and widely travelled, Jogi had an interest in occult sciences also.
He had listed “reading, writing, hunting (now banned) and occult sciences” as his favourite pastime and recreation in his Lok Sabha profile.
His party tied up with BSP in the last assembly polls in the state. (ANI)

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