Chhattisgarh 2018

Congress sweeps Chattisgarh; BJP left with next to nothing

The Congress has swept the Assembly elections in Chattisgarh, grabbing 68 seats in an Assembly of 90 members and cornering 43.2% vote share, the highest it has ever got in last four Assembly polls in this 18-year-old State.

The BJP was left with measly 15 seats, with at least six ministers of the Raman Singh cabinet losing the contest.

“The BJP had set out with Mission 65. Probably the mission was meant for us,” Congress State in-charge P.L. Punia said amidst bursting crackers and cacophony of drums as Congress workers carried on with day long celebrations.

After sending in his resignation, Chief Minister Raman Singh said the BJP was ready for its new role of a strident opposition for next five years. “I welcome the verdict of people and also my good wishes for Congress and I hope they fulfil the promises they made,” Mr. Singh said. A detailed analysis of the defeat will be done shortly, he added. He however, asserted that the results will have no negative impact on Lok Sabha election in 2019. “Yeh koi Dilli ka chunav tha? (Was this an election for Delhi),” he said.

 

The trends set in early. By noon the crowds started swelling at the Congress office while BJP headquarters wore a desolate look.

There was no rural-urban divide in the voting pattern with a unanimous verdict in favour of Congress.

The BJP’s calculations that the newly minted Ajit Jogi-Mayawati alliance will divide the anti-BJP vote and help them sail through failed. The BJP lost four of the 10 constituencies reserved for scheduled castes. And in many of these constituencies, it lost to the Bahujan Samaj Party as in Chandrapur. Even worse, it was pushed to the third position by BSP in places like Pamgarh.

 

The elections also saw BJP losing ten out of eleven constituencies reserved for Scheduled Tribes that it held in 2013 assembly elections.

The Ajit Jogi- Mayawati alliance, which was eyeing 13 seats to play the kingmakers, fell short of its target. Mr. Jogi”s Janata Congress Chattisgarh got five seats and BSP two. Though it will now have a credible voice as opposition, it can not play the role it had initially set out for.

The victory for Congress is so comprehensive that it threw all calculations and arithmetic out of the window. "Our defeat does not match our past three victories. We never crossed 50 seats in the State and now Congress has not even left anything for us,” a BJP leader said.

The blame game has already started in BJP camp with many pinning it on dubious ticket distribution. “Our legislators were facing anti-incumbency, especially our ministers and should have been replaced but for the fear of rebellion,” the senior leader added.

An initial post mortem by BJP leaders of their defeat point at corruption charges against Chief Minister Raman Singh and his ministers, failing to deliver promised MSP for paddy, inaccessibility of ministers and voter fatigue from three terms as the factors that led its rout.


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The article has been updated to reflect the latest poll results from the Election Commission of India

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 2:07:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/chhattisgarh-assembly-elections-2018/congress-sweeps-chattisgarh-bjp-left-with-next-to-nothing/article25723288.ece

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