Election results 2024: BJP maintains winning streak, Baghel loses in Chhattisgarh

The performance shows the BJP’s long-standing dominance in general elections within the State over the past two decades irrespective of the overall national scenario

Updated - June 05, 2024 10:09 am IST

Published - June 05, 2024 07:46 am IST - RAIPUR

A worker fixes a flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a hoarding of Prime Minister Narendra Modi prior to a public meeting in Raipur on April 15.

A worker fixes a flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a hoarding of Prime Minister Narendra Modi prior to a public meeting in Raipur on April 15. | Photo Credit: AFP

The Bharatiya Janata Party won 10 out of the total 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh as the general election results were announced on June 4. The performance underscores the BJP’s long-standing dominance in general elections within the State over the past two decades irrespective of the overall national scenario.

Also Read:Election Results 2024 Updates

The BJP, which won the Assembly election held last November, also improved its tally by one seat compared to 2019. On the other hand, several Congress heavyweights, including former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his three erstwhile cabinet colleagues, stood second in their respective constituencies.

From Raipur, BJP candidate and State Minister Brijmohan Agrawal defeated Congress’ former MLA Vikas Upadhyay by a margin of over five lakh votes, one of the highest in the country.

Also Read: Election results 2024: NDA leads in majority seats; markets nosedive | Top 10 developments

In Kanker, a reserved constituency for the Scheduled Tribes, the margin of victory for BJP’s Bhojraj Nag against Biresh Thakur of the Congress was just over 1,800 votes. The Congress has challenged the result in Kanker seat and complained to the State Election Commission against the polling officer for not accepting the application for recounting and not counting nearly 1,800 postal ballots. Notably, even in the last election, Mr. Thakur had lost by a margin of less than 7,000 votes and this time, over 18,000 voters chose the NOTA option.

Mr. Baghel lost by a margin of over 44,000 votes against incumbent MP Santosh Pandey from Rajnandgaon, a seat where the Congress had performed better than the BJP in the Assembly election winning five of its eight Assembly segments back then. He, however, did manage to shrink the margin of defeat for the Congress significantly from last time. In Janjgir-Champa, the only seat reserved for Scheduled Castes in Chhattisgarh, BJP’s Kamlesh Jangde defeated former minister and Congress leader Shivkumar Dahariya by 60,000 votes. Here too, the Assembly trends were reversed as the Congress had won all the Assembly segments in last year’s polls.

Kawasi Lakhma, another former Minister, lost from Bastar, a seat that the Congress had won the last time as did former Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu from Mahasamund. The bright spot for the Congress was its candidate Jyotsna Mahant retaining Korba. She defeated senior BJP leader Saroj Pandey, a former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP, by a margin of over 43,000 votes.

Korba is the citadel of senior Congress leader and Ms. Mahant’s husband Charan Das Mahant, who is the current Leader of Opposition in Chhattisgarh Assembly. While the “outsider” tag is understood to have dented the electoral prospects of Ms. Pandey, who hails from Durg, it is also expected to have worked against several Congress candidates, including Mr. Sahu, Mr. Baghel and Devendra Yadav, a sitting MLA, who lost from Bilaspur. All these Congress leaders hail from Durg, but contested elsewhere.

Polling for Chhattisgarh was held in the first three phases and the BJP campaign was broadly based on national issues such as Ram Temple and welfare delivery by both the Centre and the State and the personal appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also tried to keep alive the issue of alleged corruption against the previous government led by Mr. Baghel and cornered the Congress on the issue of left wing extremism in Bastar.

The Congress, on the other hand, focused on its Nyay guarantees and accused the BJP of trying to change the Constitution and end reservation. In the tribal belts, its senior leaders also spoke about rights over ‘Jal, Jungle and Jameen’. Since the Assembly election loss, the party had not made any major organisational changes, and was also affected by defections of its leaders to the BJP.

After the results, the losses that the BJP suffered in other States, mainly Uttar Pradesh, leading to a decline in its overall tally, resonated in the celebrations that were not as emphatic as after the Assembly election results. Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said the “lies” spread by the INDIA bloc had worked to some extent in its favour.

“INDI alliance resorted to lies about ending reservation and change in the Constitution. I think their lies have slightly worked (in their favour). However, the counting is still underway, and the NDA will form a government with a clear majority,” he said after the initial trends started coming in. Later, in the evening, he hailed BJP workers for the effort they had put in in the Lok Sabha polls and credited them for the party’s good show in Chhattisgarh.

State Congress President Deepak Baij said the election result in Chhattisgarh was not according to their expectations. “We expected better results. We are definitely disappointed with the election results in the State, but not disheartened. Our workers and leaders fought a good fight. In future also, we will continue to fight for public concerns as a strong opposition in the State. The Congress party is committed to strongly raise the voice of the people,” he said.

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