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Ahead of Chhattisgarh polls, Congress MLA Ram Dayal Uike joins BJP

Ahead of Chhattisgarh polls, Congress MLA Ram Dayal Uike joins BJP

In a setback to the Congress party ahead of the upcoming Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, party Chhattisgarh working president Ramdayal Uike joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday.

A prominent Adivasi leader, Uike is an MLA from Pali-Tanakhar and was appointed Congress Working President in January this year. He had left the BJP in 2000 to join the Congress.

Uike was welcomed into the BJP by party president Amit Shah and chief minister Raman Singh in Bilaspur.

Meanwhile, senior journalist from Chhattisgarh Ruchir Garg joined the Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. Garg is a former Editor of the Hindi news daily Navbharat in Chhattisgarh.

The BJP is in power in the state since 2003. In the 2013 Assembly polls, it got 49 seats while the Congress won 39 and one seat each was won by the BSP and an Independent. The Congress is seeking to oust the Raman Singh government in Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh.

The Congress has finalised candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Chhattisgarh and their names will be disclosed in a day or two, party sources said on Friday.

According to sources, members of the Congress' ' Central Election Committee (CEC) chaired by Rahul Gandhi met in Delhi on Friday evening and deliberated on party candidates for the first phase of polling on November 12.

As many as 18 Maoist-affected constituencies of the state would witness polling in the first phase, while the rest 72 constituencies would vote in the second phase on November 20. Votes will be counted on December 11.

The process of nomination filing will start with the issuance of a gazette notification for the first phase on October 16. The last date for filing nominations is October 23 and scrutiny would be completed by the next day.

(With inputs from DNA)

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