Providing a booster to the Bharatiya Janata Party right before the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, working president of the Congress, Ram Dayal Uike, has joined the party. To welcome him into the party, its president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Raman Singh and state BJP head Dharamlal Kaushik were present among other leaders. Ram is known to be a popular tribal face in the state.
The BJP is aiming to achieve 65 seats in the upcoming elections. Leader of Opposition, TS Singhdeo, was quoted by The New Indian Express as saying, “We feel astounded. But the Congress always has an alternative. A strong formidable candidate will replace him from the seat where he was likely to contest.”
Uike had resigned from the BJP in 2000 and joined Congress. He represented the tribal constituency of Marwahi. He is a four-time MLA, and was reportedly unhappy with Congress’s decision to ally with Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP), which is also a tribal party. Secondly, Congress promised GGP a reserved Scheduled Tribe (ST) constituency seat of Pali-Tanakhar. The issue was this had been represented thrice by Uike.
Hence, this is seen as a win-win situation for both the BJP and Uike, since he can retain his influence over the tribal-based seat and the vote-bank, and the BJP can also profit.