Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday jolted the Congress by announcing an electoral pact with former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.
As per the agreement between the two parties, Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh will contest 55 of the 90 Assembly seats in the state while the BSP will field candidates in the remaining 35 segments.
BSP chief Mayawati said that Jogi will be the Chief Minister in case the alliance won the state polls.
She said that the "historic alliance will bring development and prosperity to the downtrodden, the poor, Dalits, minorities, tribals and marginalised sections of society".
The 62-year-old Dalit leader also said that the two parties had come together to boot out the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state and ensure that there is fair and not selective development, as is taking place under the watch of the present dispensation.
The development is seen as huge blow to the Congress, which was hoping for an alliance with the Dalit powerhouse from Uttar Pradesh and thus brighten its chances against the Raman Singh-led BJP government in the tribal-dominated state.
Known for springing surprises on foes and friends alike, Mayawati has also named 22 party candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, also due this year.
For some time now, she has been warning wannabe allies of not taking her lightly and to be respectful to her party. By tying up with Ajit Jogi, a Congress rebel and the first Chief Minister of separate state of Chhattisgarh, the mercurial Dalit leader has once again proved that she cannot be taken for granted.