Long considered one of the few Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh with a mass following, Ajit Jogi is the single biggest challenge to Chief Minister Raman Singh in his efforts to score a hat trick in the upcoming Assembly election.
From being the first chief minister of the newly formed state after its division from Madhya Pradesh in 2000, to allegations against him by senior Congress leaders that he was behind the party`s 2008 defeat, Jogi has always been an extremely focused politician.
While he has considerable influence over Satnami, Christian and Tribals in the state, the bureacrt turned politician is also known to have very good equation with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Jogi graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the Maulana Azad College of Technology in Bhopal winning the University Gold Medal in 1968. After having worked briefly as a lecturer at the Government Engineering College, Raipur, he was selected for the Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service.
But the Gandhi who first changed his destiny was Rajiv, he convinced Jogi to resign from the IAS in 1986 and nominated him to the Rajya Sabha. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. Jogi went on to enjoy two consecutive terms in the Rajya Sabha. And in 1998, he was elected to 12th Lok Sabha.
Jogi won reserved seats from Marwahi in 2003, but in 2004 tragedy struck this horse riding, gliding and yoga-loving man as he met with a serious car accident at Gariabandh and since has ben confined to a wheelchair.
In 2008, he defeated Dhyan Singh Porte from Marwahi by 42,000 votes.
But the appointment of Charan Das Mahant - a known Jogi baiter - after Nandkumar Patel was killed in the Darbha attack, as the Chhattisgarh Congress chief, Jogi had displayed signs of turning rebellious.
However, the Congress had to buy peace with him, knowing that he can hurt its chances in the crucial 2014 General Elections where every seat will be important to win.
The party was left with no other option but to give into his demand that his wife Renu Jogi and son Amit be given party tickets for the upcoming polls.
If the Congress were to come back to power, Jogi would once again be back in the reckoning for the top job.