The Chhattisgarh Assembly on Tuesday paid rich tributes to the state’s first chief minister, Ajit Pramod Kumar Jogi, recalling him as a ‘Merchant of Dreams’, a visionary and a strong-headed politician who proved his administrative and political skills both at the state and national levels.
The House, on the first day of a four-day monsoon session, also paid homage to three other leaders who died since the last session and to the soldiers who laid down their lives recently on the India-China border.
As the Assembly met amid precautions against Covid-19, Speaker Dr Charandas Mahant made obituary references of Jogi, who later quit the Congress and founded the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and was a member of the House from Marwahi (ST) constituency.
The Speaker recalled his contribution as a longest serving Collector as a bureaucrat and later as a leader with the Congress party as well as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
The Speaker also made obituary references to former Ministers Dehru Prasad Dhritlahare and Balihar Singh and former MP Rajnigandha Devi and mentioned the soldiers martyred in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
Recalling his memories of working with Jogi, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel termed him a legend with multifaceted talent, full of liveliness and activism. This is the reason he rose from a village to the national level as an administrator and politician.
Politics revolved around him even when he was in the opposition, Baghel said. He dreamt of a developed and progressive Chhattisgarh and was the happiest person when the Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi was made a district.
It is under his leadership that the foundation of Chhattisgarh’s strong fiscal management was laid.
Baghel also recalled memories of working with Dhritlahare, the contribution of Balihar Singh and Rajnigandha Devi as well as martyred soldier Ganesh Kunjam besides others.
Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik stated that Jogi would be remembered as a mass leader and the one who worked to uplift the poor. He recalled his deep knowledge and ability to take quick decisions.
He underlined that Jogi was active in political and other activities despite being confined to a wheelchair in the last stages of life.
Dr Renu Jogi, wife of Ajit Jogi, recalled that after the outbreak of Covid-19 her husband was writing his autobiography.
She said he was a dreamer and worked towards fulfilling his dreams. She thanked the Chief Minister for fulfilling his dream of seeing a Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district.
Former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Dharamjeet Singh, Ministers and others paid tributes to the departed souls.