In a setback to the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Thursday announced an alliance with Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh for Chhattisgarh elections and declared him the chief ministerial candidate.
The BSP will contest 35 seats and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh 55 in the 90-member assembly.
"We have decided to forge an alliance with the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh. Ajit Jogi will be the chief ministerial candidate," Mayawati said at a press conference in Lucknow.
"My views on alliance with other parties are clear. We will go for an alliance if our party gets a respectable number of seats and if the ideologies match," she said.
Mayawati said the BSP and the JCC will soon launch a joint election campaign and a plan for conducting rallies will be finalised soon.
Replying to a question, she said, "Both the parties are capable of stopping the BJP in the state. If some other regional parties want to join us, we will take their help."
She alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Chhattisgarh did nothing for the state in the past 15 years and that a 'strong regional representation' was necessary to ensure that it is not neglected.
In Chhattisgarh, the Dalit population plays an important role in determining election results in regions such as Janjgir-Champa, Raigarh and Bastar.