NATIONAL

We will play the role of a responsible Opposition: Jogi

RAIPUR DEC. 4. The outgoing Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, was today unable to explain the reasons for his party's defeat in the Assembly elections. Speaking to reporters late in the afternoon, when it was clear that Congress had been trounced, Mr. Jogi said he and his party respected the verdict of the people and would play the role of a responsible Opposition in Chhattisgarh. ``Since the elections were fought under my leadership, I hold myself accountable for the outcome,'' he said.

Mr. Jogi asserted that he would stay in Chhattisgarh and work for its development. His party was yet to analyse the reasons for the defeat, Mr. Jogi said. It was, however, clear that the party had suffered major losses in the naxalite-affected areas of Surguja, Bastar, Dantewade, Kanker and Rajnandgaon. ``I cannot say what went wrong, but it is obvious that we were not hand-in-glove with the naxalites, because the outcome would have been different then.''

According to Mr. Jogi, the Congress had done well in the more literate areas of Raipur, Durg, and Bilaspur.

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